Paul had some trouble in Athens when he preached there. The people were more about the entertainment of philosophizing than caring about real truth. Acts 17:21 says, “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” The Athenians considered themselves the “intellectually elite.” They had an arrogance about them that prevented them from actually learning the truth. Does that sound like some cities in the U.S. today? Do we have those who consider themselves so advanced in science and technology that they refuse to listen to the old story of the cross or about Jesus? The Bible is clear: the Word is salvation to those who believe it and foolishness to those who are perishing. Every few years what man sees as wisdom changes. Just imagine, for instance, going into the hospital and having them attach leaches to you to get the “bad blood” out. Remember? That was the apex of medical science, just a few generations back. What man knows, compared to what God knows, really isn’t a lot. Man’s wisdom will change again and again. God’s wisdom is constant. He Loves You.
When Jesus was on the cross, He spoke. In John 19:30 it says, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” This is not a statement of loss, but a statement of victory. Jesus knew that His death would do some important things for us believers. First and foremost: Jesus died in our place, so that we might have an abundant life. He took the cost of our sin, which is death, and paid it in-full. He redeemed us from the curse that Adam’s sin had brought upon the world, and Jesus’ work is finished! There is nothing else that needs to be done. Salvation is His free gift to all believers. Secondly: He destroyed the work of the evil one. We do have an enemy, but he is a defeated enemy. When Jesus laid down His life, He made the Holy Spirit available to all of us. We no longer fight alone against our enemy, but God’s Holy Spirit works inside of us and fights with us. When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” He meant it! Receive your victory today!
In Luke 19:41-43 it says, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace―but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.’” Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, because He knew the trouble and pain that would be coming upon the people there. Later we read that this happens because the people did not recognize that Jesus was from God. In Luke 19:44 Jesus says, “They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Sometimes we think, “God, do you see my suffering? Where were you? Do you care?” But Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He wept when Lazarus died. He does care, and He cares very deeply. Jesus was moved to tears in this passage and lamented what was to occur to the people. He didn’t cause it; He wanted the people to receive Him. He did care. He cares.
Do you feel proud when you see your kids playing nicely with each other―sharing their toys and watching out for each other? Well, our Heavenly Father also appreciates it when He sees His children treating each other with love and kindness. Jesus said in Luke 6:27-28, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Remember: He lived these very words out on the cross, praying for those that had participated. God’s way is clear and is much the same as what we teach our children: share, play nicely, treat each other with respect. And God’s way is even more encompassing; it includes loving and caring for those that are difficult to love. This is, of course, not easy. Just think how often we mess that up? But what if we Christians made an extra effort this week to be kind, quick to share what we have, and quick to help others―even those that we might not call “friends”? It’s the kind of love to which God is calling all of us. It’s how He loves us, and it’s how Jesus loves us. We can do it!