Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ (Luke 23:30)
This is Jesus talking to all those who were mourning and lamenting for him as he walked the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha and his crucifixion. “Just wait,” he warns them. The day will soon come when they will flee Jerusalem, run for their lives, and look for safety in the hills. God’s judgment on Jerusalem was imminent and unavoidable. Yes, the rejection and execution of Jesus is bad. But you haven’t seen anything yet!
When wildfires have threatened our community or hurricanes have approached, many “head for the hills,” that is, they evacuate and seek refuge. In the wake of storms, houses along the shore are rebuilt on stilts, their own private “higher ground,” where they will be safe. The psalmist seeks similar security: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?”
He answers his own question, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1,2). That makes sense. Isaiah talked about this. “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills” (Isaiah 2:2). Get it? The Lord himself is that hill where you will find security when everything is unraveling. “Under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4).
Don’t feel sorry for Jesus. Instead, come to him for rest for your soul. Flee to him for mercy. In his suffering and death you will find the love you’re looking for. At the cross you find the perfect love that casts out fear. You’ll find all that in him, and nowhere else.
Everyone has those days when we just want to pull the covers over our heads and stay in bed, reluctant to face the world out there. The tragedies are too real, the temptations are too strong, and our resolve too quickly dissolves. Then we remember. We remember the promise that love, his love, covers a multitude of sins. We can take his covering – atonement – with us as we step into our day.
How wonderful to hear our Lord say to us, “I’ve got you covered!”
Cover me, Lord.