March 24, 2018

Jerusalem, Killer of Prophets

Psalm 147:1-7; Luke 13:31-35

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you . . .

—  Luke 13:34

Jerusalem was supposed to be a place where God gathered the outcasts and healed the brokenhearted, not the center for killing his prophets. It had happened before, and it was happening again (see 2 Chronicles 24:20-21; Jeremiah 26:20-23; Luke 9:9). Ruled by ruthless Herod and governed by the Romans, the city of peace was again an opponent of God’s purposes. If it killed the messengers of God, what would it do with the Son of God?

Jerusalem’s opposition did not deter Jesus from continuing his journey. He didn’t shrink from his calling. He was determined to appear in Jerusalem as the Lord’s Messiah. He knew that at the time God had appointed, and not before, he too would be sentenced there to die.

Through his work of salvation and restoration, Jesus will also return one day with a new Jerusalem that truly gathers God’s people, healing the broken­hearted and binding up their wounds. Then there will be no more mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:1-4).

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Luke 5:31)—physically, mentally, spiritually. This includes us: we need the healing and saving love of Jesus just as much as all who rejected him in Jerusalem.

He went to Jerusalem, determined to fulfill his mission for the sake of all who would believe. Jesus died for you and me. Do you believe it?

Renew my heart, Lord. Help me acknowledge my sin, seek forgiveness, and live in the light of your redeeming love. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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