There followed [Jesus] a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. (Luke 23:27)
When do you find yourself in a crowd of people mourning and lamenting? Funerals, for sure. Cemeteries, too. Powerful movie moments can bring an audience to tears. You might be sitting in church when tears begin to well up. Or with a loved one struggling to breathe in hospice.
You can feel that way at a celebration. The absence of a loved one at a birthday party punches a hole of sadness into the joy of the occasion. They were there in the past. But now they’ve died. Or they refused to come.
When Jesus takes the Via Dolorosa (way of suffering), it is the beginning of Passover, a remembrance and celebration of how God saved his people from slavery in Egypt. That celebration now has a hole of sadness in it as everyone realizes the price of salvation. Now they realized that the blood of innocent lambs that stained the doorframes of ancient Israelite homes was a foreshadowing of the blood-stained of Jesus’ cross.
We work very hard to get past grief. We mourn the loss of family and friends, jobs and careers, health and ability. We just want to get it over with. We just want to get on with life. Easier said than done. Just when you think you’ve got it licked, you’ll find a little reminder, hear a song, or walk into a place and it all comes rushing back.
Perhaps mourning and lamenting aren’t something to be over, but something you learn to live with. (Please don’t confuse me with a psychologist. I’m just writing a devotion.) Just like the crowd we learn to live with the mourning and lamenting that comes with the Christ. No matter why we follow Jesus, we always end up at the cross. Whether you come to him for healing, rest, peace, or truth, you will end up at the cross. It is a sobering reminder of your sin for which he died. It is also a powerful reminder of the depth of his love for you. Don’t get over it. It will teach you how to live.
Lord, I’ll never get over how much you love me. Amen.