Brethren Archive
Luke 23: 27-31.

Useless Tears.

by Alex H. Stewart

AS far as we have record, our Lord only took time to speak to one company of people on His way to Calvary, and strange to say, it was to the women who wept.  Everyone, or nearly everyone, was insulting our blessed Lord.  The mob was out of control, and it was easy to add insult to injury.  Some had found no place for their vile spittle but His holy face, where the hair had been plucked from His cheeks, and thus the holy precious blood was mingled with the vile insulting spittle.  “And they spat upon Him and took the reed and smote Him on the head” (Matt. 27: 30).
But we do not read of our Lord remonstrating with any.  “He gave His back to the smiter and His cheek to those who plucked off the hair,” and remained the silent Son of God, “who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2: 23).
The women of our text seem to have been different.  In sympathy they shed their silent tears, memory recalling, no doubt, many of His good deeds.  Had He not gone about among them doing good, as Peter told Cornelius: “Even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10: 38)?
Strange it seems, that the gracious Lord did not seem to appreciate their tears.  He always appraised everything at its true value.  Just a few days before this occasion, He defended the act of Mary of Bethany in breaking her alabaster box of ointment and anointing Him for His burial.  “Jesus, therefore said, “Suffer her to keep it against the day of My burying.  For the poor ye have always with you; but Me ye have not always” (John 12: 7-8).  All the disciples, as well as Judas, thought it waste, but the Lord Jesus said: “She hath wrought a good work on Me” (Matt. 26: 8).  Why then, did He not value the tears of the women who wept as He went His way to Calvary?  Were they doing a right thing in weeping?  Yes, but they were weeping about the wrong thing.
Weep Not for Me.
“Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children, for if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”  Miseries had to come upon them of which He had warned them; but little heed had been taken either of His warning or pleadings, and soon the storm would burst in all its fury on their defenseless heads.  He had wept for them: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her!  How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord” (Matt. 23: 37-39).
We all have lost our sense of moral values.  We weep for the wrong things and laugh about the wrong things.  Christless men and women (with children like them) on the way to the Lake of Fire, laugh and try to be gay, but their “laughter is like the crackling of thorns under the pot,” it is short lived.
Then again, weeping because the Lamb of God was going to Calvary!  What a calamity if He had refused to be obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross”!  The whole human race would have perished!  There would have been no Saviour, no Gospel to proclaim, no glad tidings to tell!  Our Lord did not come to preach the Gospel merely, but that we might have a Gospel to preach.  “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation?  Which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard” (Heb. 2: 3).  Weeping because He was going to Calvary!  We shall sing evermore because He did.
That the Scriptures Might Be Fulfilled.
“O Cross of Christ, O glorious tree,
What place can be compared to thee,
Where God’s own Son was crucified,
And for our sins a ransom died.”
He was not driven to Calvary (except by the Spirit).  He was not dragged to Calvary.  “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth” (Isa. 53: 7), and as He goes to the appointed place, we hear Him say: “Therefore doth the Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it again.  No one taketh it away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.  This commandment received I from My Father” (John 10: 17-18).
So, on He goes His way, setting His face as a flint to go to Jerusalem, knowing the things which should befall Him there.  “His goings forth had been of old” (Micah 5: 2), His going to Calvary was that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.  Our Lord had only one object in mind in coming to earth, and that was to do God’s Will, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God” (Psa. 40: 8), was ever the language of life and lip, until on Calvary He cried with a loud voice: “It is finished!” (John 19: 30).
Weep for Yourselves.
“Rest my soul, the work is done,
Done by God’s Almighty Son;
This, so faith is now so clear,
There’s no room for torturing fear.”
The weeping women were not intelligent, though no doubt sincere; hence our Lord took time to speak to them, and no others: “If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”  He was the green tree, He had life in Himself and was willingly laying it down.  The nation of Israel and all humanity were the dry trees, and only fit for the burning.  No son of Adam had naturally produced fruit for God.  “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64: 6).  What shall be done in the dry?  The green tree was “stricken, smitten of God and afflicted” (Isa. 53: 4).  How then shall any sinner escape who meets God in his sins?  “They shall not escape!” (1 Thess. 5: 3).
So, in closing, I would use our Lord’s words to the weeping women, “Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children,” if you are still a Christ rejecter.  Remember, God will treat you as you treat His Son.  If you accept Christ, God accepts you.  If you reject Christ, God rejects you.  So decide for and receive Christ just now, saying:
“All for me, all for me,
Lord, was it all for me?
From the throne to the manger,
From there to the Cross,
Yes, it was all for me.”
“The Son of God . . . loved me, and gave Himself up for me” (Gal. 2: 20).
“Our Hope” 1948


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