When evangelical Christians hear the word devotion, we usually think of “quiet time.” But the word devotion is quite similar to the word passion, so during Passion Week this year, I’m going to share some devotional thoughts, to grab your heart and hopefully draw you in to the amazing story and life of Christ. Here is #1.
Lynn and I have had the opportunity to go to Israel two different times. The first time we were actually in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. My favorite moment of that day was walking down the winding road into the Kidron Valley on the way to Jerusalem. This was likely near the route that Jesus used to come into the city on Palm Sunday. You can see from the pictures, as you come down the road, all of Jerusalem lies in front of you. (The location of the temple was near the golden dome in the background.)
As I read Luke 19:28-41, I imagine Jesus on this road. It’s Palm Sunday. The crowd is filled with exuberant emotion, but Jesus comes into Jerusalem with tears. He cried for the city because they didn’t recognize their moment. I can’t get that picture out of my heart.
When Jesus comes into the city, he comes with tears.
Leonard Sweet writes, “Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, you would do well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not, God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where you should go next.
What brings unexpected tears to Jesus’ eyes?
He’s crying for a city that missed it’s moment.
So ask yourself the question, “Who/what gets my tears?”
I think — one reason why we have walls in our relationship with God, with each other, and with the world around us is because we cry too much for things that matter little and we cry too little for things that matter much.
150 years ago, Charles Finney wrote, “Sometimes Christians, talk about unbelievers so coldly, scolding rather than feeling the compassion of the Son of God for them. But sometimes (brokenness) drives Christians to prayer, breaking them down, making them mourn with tender hearts. They weep night and day. Instead of scolding and reproaching they pray. Then you can expect revival.”
- This is what was taking place with Jesus. When he wept.
- He wept for every broken person in Jerusalem.
- He wept for people broken by all sorts of sexual sin.
- He wept for people sucked up into greed.
- He wept for people who didn’t love their neighbors.
- He wept for people with hearts filled with bitterness and anger.
- He wept for people missing God’s dreams for their lives.
What do we cry about?
Who do we cry for?
I encourage you to join me this week in walking through your neighborhood and perhaps one other, praying for the people who are there. Perhaps one of your prayers might be, “O God give me tears. There is so much pain in the world. Would you tenderly break my heart with the compassion of Christ for my neighbors.” Then see what God does!
I am so looking forward to this week. It’s a week to remember that God has this habit of showing up in the most surprising of places. Thank you for you diving into the gospel!