2005-05-05 - Tangible Anguish
Matt 23:37-39 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 "For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ' Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'" (NASB)
Jesus knows the dark time the nation of Israel is about to enter. He knows they have rejected Him as Messiah at large - a few have come. But the apple of God's eye is about to be left wandering because of choices they have made. A hen will cover her chicks with her body and wings to protect them from anything. Hens have been found burned to death in a fire where her chicks have survived under her wings. This picture of sacrifice is a picture of the heart of the Lord toward Israel, as well has the church and the world. But clearly here He mourns for Israel.
The emotional pain is almost tangible in the text. The passion, the sense of complete, unreserved emotion, for the Jewish people is compelling. The pain for His chosen people, who are about to be left with nothing, is plain to seen. Jesus has been reaching out to the people, and many have responded to His call. Many more have been held back by the cares of the world, or the weeds of the Pharisees and the Seducees.
The Lord knows how we feel, because He has experienced the emotions we do in human flesh. He created the emotions for us, so He knew them prior to the experience. But there is no question that He knows how we feel when we are happy or sad - joyful or broken-hearted. Jesus has experience sadness at the death of Lazarus, celebration at the wedding in Cana, anger at the abuse of the Temple, indignation toward the Pharisees, joy at the return of Jarus' daughter and Lazarus, and here sadness and rejection at the hands of the people He came to reach. It is an amazing thought to understand the Creator of the Universe knows our individual hearts so well.
That is a comfort to the Christian. It means we are never totally alone. I know it feels that way at times. It is also the cup of clear cold water given to the friend who is suffering. It is the smile and the hug of celebration for pure joy when a brother or sister is glad. We become a representative of the Kingdom, God's love with skin on, when we share emotions with those people God has put into our lives. And we know that there are no accidents and God is in control, that we have been led to this time and place, for our friends and others around us, for such a time as this.
Grace & Peace,