Humble Hero

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Jesus Breaks Down in Tears

Jesus gazed on the scene, and the crowds hushed their shouts, spellbound by the sudden vision of beauty. All eyes turned to the Savior. They were surprised and disappointed to see His eyes fill with tears and His body rock back and forth like a tree in a storm. A wail of anguish burst from His quivering lips, as if from a broken heart. What a sight for angels to witness! What a sight for the glad throng of people escorting Him to the glorious city, where they hoped He was about to reign! This sudden sorrow was like a note of wailing in a grand triumphal chorus. Israel’s King was in tears; not silent tears of gladness, but of uncontrollable agony. The crowd was struck with a sudden gloom. Many wept in sympathy with a grief they could not comprehend. HH 265.5

Just ahead of Jesus was Gethsemane, where soon the horror of a great darkness would overshadow Him. The sheepgate also was in sight, through which for centuries the animals for sacrificial offerings had been led. This gate was soon to open for Him, the great Fulfillment, toward whose sacrifice all these offerings had pointed. Nearby was Calvary, the scene of His approaching agony. Yet His was no selfish sorrow. The thought of His own agony did not affect that noble, self-sacrificing soul. It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus—Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of God, scorned His love, and was about to take His life. He saw what she could have been if she had accepted Him who alone could heal her wound. How could He give her up? HH 265.6

Israel had been a favored people. God had made their temple His dwelling place; it was “beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth.” Psalm 48:2. In it Jehovah had revealed His glory, the priests had officiated, and the pomp of symbol and ceremony had gone on for ages. But all this must come to an end. Jesus waved His hand toward the doomed city, and in grief He exclaimed, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!” The Savior left unsaid what could have been the condition of Jerusalem if she had accepted the help that God wanted to give her—the gift of His Son. Jerusalem could have stood out in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her Godgiven power, with no Roman banners waving from her walls. The Son of God saw that she could have been liberated from bondage and established as the leading city of the earth. From her walls the dove of peace would have gone forth to all nations. She would have been the world’s crown of glory. HH 266.1

But the Savior realized she now was under the Roman rule, doomed to God’s punishing judgment: “But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” HH 266.2

Jesus saw the doomed city surrounded with armies, the besieged inhabitants driven to starvation and death, mothers feeding on the dead bodies of their children, and parents and children snatching the last morsel of food from one another—natural affection destroyed by the gnawing pangs of hunger. He saw that the stubbornness of the Jews would lead them to refuse to submit to the invading armies. He saw Calvary set with crosses as thickly as forest trees. He saw the beautiful palaces destroyed, the temple in ruins, and not one stone of its massive walls left on another, while the city was plowed like a field. HH 266.3

As a tender father mourns over a wayward son, so Jesus wept over the beloved city. “How can I give you up? How can I see you devoted to destruction?” When the setting sun would pass from sight, Jerusalem’s day of grace would be over. While the procession was standing still on the Mount of Olives, it was not yet too late for Jerusalem to repent. While the last rays of sunlight were lingering on temple, tower, and pinnacle, would not some good angel lead her to the Savior’s love? Beautiful, unholy city, that had stoned the prophets and rejected the Son of God—her day of mercy was almost gone! HH 266.4

Yet again the Spirit of God would speak to Jerusalem. Before the day was done, another testimony to Christ would be heard. If Jerusalem would receive the Savior entering her gates, she might yet be saved! HH 266.5

But the rulers in Jerusalem had no welcome for the Son of God. As the procession was about to descend the Mount of Olives, they intercepted it, asking the reason for the commotion. As they questioned, “Who is this?” the disciples, filled with the spirit of inspiration, repeated the prophecies concerning Christ. HH 267.1

Adam will tell you: It is the Seed of the woman that will bruise the serpent’s head. See Genesis 3:15. HH 267.2

Abraham will tell you: It is Melchizedek, King of Salem, King of Peace. See Genesis 14:18. HH 267.3

Isaiah will tell you: “Immanuel,” “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, NRSV. HH 267.4

Jeremiah will tell you: The Branch of David, “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:6. HH 267.5

Daniel will tell you: He is the Messiah. See Daniel 9:24-27. HH 267.6

John the Baptist will tell you: He is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. HH 267.7

The great Jehovah has proclaimed: “This is My beloved Son.” Matthew 3:17. HH 267.8

We, His disciples, declare, “This is Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of life, the Redeemer of the world.” HH 267.9

And the prince of the powers of darkness acknowledges Him: “I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” Mark 1:24. HH 267.10