Luke 19:41-44 tells of Jesus entering Jerusalem where he would be crucified in less than a week. As he enters he starts crying… not for himself but for the citizens of Jerusalem. As he entered he saw children playing, mothers tending their children, old men sitting at the city gates, and people busily engaged with living their lives.
But Jesus saw something else, he saw about 40 years into the future and saw what the Roman soldiers would do to these very same people… besieging the city, starving the people, slaughtering the men, raping the women, bashing in the heads of the young children, and carrying the few survivors into captivity.
The prophetic vision of this horrible calamity caused Jesus to cry but also caused him to want him to help them. His help started with offering faith to them. Faith that he was the son of God. To those who believed in him he gave ample warning of when to get out of town and leave Jerusalem and save their lives.
He also sent his Apostles for 40 years after he died to work miracles and teach. The reality is that when the Roman soldiers surrounded Jerusalem to destroy it, the only people left in the city were those who totally rejected him.
God sent the Roman armies to punish Jerusalem and the Jewish system for crucifying his only Son. It was a well deserved punishment and yet Jesus, as he viewed the happy people of Jerusalem, cried for them.
I have to believe that as Jesus looks at us today he still cries for those who are going to end up in the fires of Hell. Ample warning has been given and the punishment will be well deserved but he still sheds tears for those condemned souls… as should we.
Let’s do the best we can to reach Heaven but let’s also, like Jesus, care so much about others that we do whatever we can do to persuade them.