“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” -Luke 19:41
On my Mount Rushmore of Bible verses there is one that I continually come back to and meditate on—it is Luke 19:41. Luke is the only gospel writer who notes Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, but I am so thankful he did. The Greek word translated “wept” carries the meaning of bawling and weeping loudly. Jesus does not simply have a tear or two running down his face, but tears upon tears cascading down his cheeks as he sees the city of Jerusalem come into view. It is these tears of Jesus that have always haunted me and encouraged me as I pastor and preach, to enter into the weeping of the world and be okay to stay there.
If we are not a weeping people then we are not the people of Jesus.
Weeping and lamenting, however, are often dismissed in Christian circles. One must simply turn on any Christian radio station to note how little mention of lamenting or weeping is talked about. We are encouraged to be happy, to stay uplifted, to move quickly over the pain and onto what God can do in and through our pain for his glory.
I am not against be encouraged and being uplifted and I do believe that our pain and suffering have a purpose in the eternal purpose of God, but let’s not be too quick to fast forward past the lamenting and weeping to the the fixing and reasoning.
Let’s enter into the weeping and sit there and stay there and let the tears of the world have a place among us as the people of a weeping King. Lamenting, weeping, and wailing should have a revered place among the people of God.
At the same time that we lament for the sake of the world we lament in hope because our weeping King is also a reigning King. Jesus did not stop his mission in Luke 19:41, but pressed into the heart of darkness that week in Jerusalem—-absorbing the tears of the world and laying the foundation for the day when all tears will be wiped from the eyes of God’s people in the New Jerusalem.
So let’s be an Easter people, gladly celebrating the breaking in of God’s kingdom of life, love, and wholeness here and now and longing for the ultimate breaking in of life, love, and wholeness in the world to come. But let’s also be a Palm Sunday people, a Luke 19:41 people, a people who see the tears of the world and say we, with Jesus, cry too.