“For God So Loved The World –” John 3:16
Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem knowing that when he entered the city he would be betrayed by Judas Iscaret, captured, and hung on a cross. Even, so, he continued a steady course and as he traveled along he continued to teach, drive out demons, and heal those in need of healing. His compassion was great for his people even though they had rejected him. Because of their hardness of heart they did not recognize their Savior. So it was was with heavy sadness that Jesus exclaimed: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” (Luke 13:24 & Matthew 23:37)
It was not unusual that a prophet would lose his life in Jerusalem. From the time of Solomon to the time of Christ the prophets had known rejection and met with death when they stood up for God. Now they had rejected their Savior, the Son of God.
Jesus knew the troubles that would soon come upon Jerusalem. They would reach from the rending of the veil of the temple at the time of the Crucifixion to the rending of the temple itself by the armies of Titus in A. D. 70. Jesus wanted to gather the people to himself that they might be saved. But he knew that they would not respond to him anymore than their fathers had responded to the prophets. Despite Jesus’ continual invitation to repent, they had refused to accept.
Jesus now sadly passed the sentence: “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you shall not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’.” (Luke 13:25) If God gave up the temple as his dwelling place, then he would desert the city. This resulted in the removal of God’s protection from the Jewish people, which in turn led the people being scattered and in turn led to the city abandoned to Titus and his army in A.D. 70. God, however, would give about 40 years of grace after the ascension of Jesus. It would be a continuing opportunity to find salvation before the destruction.
God has extended his grace to us as well. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) He truly grieves for those who do not accept his invitation to salvation. Now is the time to accept God’s offer. For no one knows when it will be too late.