STATION 9: “Meets the women of Jerusalem”
As we continue our walk to the ninth Station of the cross…..Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem: Not everyone wanted Jesus to die, in fact, most were saddened that Jesus had been condemned to die. Jesus says some incredible things to these women of Jerusalem….he knew that they too would suffer soon and thinks of them above himself.
Luke 23:27-31 (TNIV)
27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
Jesus spoke to these women and tried to change the direction of their grief. He was not the one who needed to be mourned. Jesus foreknew that in near forty years (AD 66-70), Jerusalem would be sacked and destroyed by the Romans. There would be great suffering, weeping and wailing. This is, in fact, the third time that Jesus laments over the future of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 13:34-35 and also Luke 19:41-44). Jesus knew that it would be the women and children who would suffer most. History would show that the Romans attempted to starve the Jews into submission; and hungry men, defending their city, took food from their suffering wives and children.
At a time that these women are mourning Jesus….He mourns them.
STATION 9: “Jesus is Crucified”
Now, we walk one to the tenth station of the cross where…Jesus is crucified. Ironically as Jesus was crucified, two criminals claimed the position on the right and the left, of which his disciples had argued for earlier (Mark 10:35-39). Also, and more importantly, Jesus practices what He preaches…he ask for the forgiveness of the soldiers who crucified Him.
There are only a few things said by Jesus from His place upon the cross. The FIRST utterance on His lips was a prayer of forgiveness. Jesus taught that forgiveness only comes for those who forgive (Luke 6:37 and Luke 11:4). Jesus taught also that forgiveness has no limits (Luke 17:4)….and He taught that we are to forgive our enemies (Luke 6:27-28).
On the cross Jesus was mocked, He had been scourged, His skin torn and bloodied, thorns pressed into His brow, laughed at and scorned…….yet the first words from His lips after the nails were pounded through His wrist and His heals were words of forgiveness.
I always ask those who are unable to forgive, “So, how is that unforgiveness working for you?”
The truth is, unforgiveness festers inside us, and burns deep in our soul. The truth is, forgiveness isn’t for the other person….it’s for us. It is important that we strive to love like God loves and forgive like God forgives.
Isaiah 43:25 (TNIV, God speaking through the prophet Isaiah)
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Interestingly enough, the next words that Jesus uttered were also a prayer to the Father. Jesus ask forgiveness to a man crucified next to Him…….and we often struggle with forgiving someone that was a little “cross” with us…
Luke 23:33-34 (TNIV)
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Mark 10:35-39 (TNIV)
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
Ephesians 4:32 (TNIV)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”