Jesus came to set things right between us and the Father. Those who did not accept Him paid a heavy price. Still do.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
We will never know what Jesus would have done for Jerusalem and the people of Israel if they had believed in Him as their Messiah. Instead, they followed their own wicked hearts and it led them to destruction, as it does for all of us. Just know that judgement was not God’s desire. We find His desire in 2 Peter 3:9, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Jesus Laments over Jerusalem
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
Scene: Jesus was leaving the temple area. His parting words were not just to the religious leaders, but also to the city itself and its history. His heart breaks as He mourns over her. When, at last, her Messiah came, she refused Him. Now, she will be desolate.
There are two schools of thought concerning verse 39. One is that He was referring to Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came. Since He and the Spirit are One, then Jesus did, indeed, come at Pentecost. The other school of thought is that Jesus was referring to His REAL triumphal entry described in Revelation 19:11-16 and Zechariah 14:3-9. The interesting part is that BOTH can be correct.
Chapter 24 begins with Jesus walking away. Someone called His attention to the beautiful buildings. Jesus’ response was cryptic: 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” He was referring to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D, which brought to a close the temple sacrifices. I will not print the entire passage here, but I will make some comments:
- The tearing of the veil upon Jesus’ death and the Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost heralded in the New Covenant of love and grace where Jesus lives in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The sacrificial system ended there, but was not brought to a close until 70 A.D. because the religious leaders refused to believe that Jesus was Messiah. Jesus had to do it for them (from an earthly perspective, they brought it upon themselves with their rebellion from Rome).
- The Olivette (on the Mount of Olives; see v3) Discourse is widely disputed. There are some key verses that bear scrutiny.
- Verses 4-14: Many of the verses were fulfilled in the 40 years between Jesus’ resurrection and the Fall of Jerusalem. The Greek word for “whole world” is the same one that Luke used in Luke 2:1, which is translated as “Roman Empire.” It specifically means, “known world.” If so, then it refers to the Destruction of Jerusalem. If it refers to the entire world, then it is ongoing, as is Acts 1:8.
- Verses 15-26: Using Scripture to interpret Scripture, there are two ways to view these verses:
- Luke 21:20-27 helps give a point of reference. History states that Vespasian marched on Israel from the North taking Galilee, Central Israel, and then circled around Jerusalem taking Judea, and then started to tighten the noose on Jerusalem when he got word that Nero had committed suicide and was being called back to Rome, so he withdrew. It was some time before his son, Titus, was appointed to deal with Jerusalem. Luke’s passage now makes sense. The desolation talked about is the destruction of the temple and the erecting of a pagan altar in its place by Titus. It was Rome’s way of finalizing their victory over Israel.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 is another passage that is used to interpret “the abomination that causes desolation.” Many see this passage as a future event along with Matthew 24:15-31.
- Verses 28-30: Some see the destruction of Jerusalem as history that has been fulfilled from a heavenly perspective, much like Jesus coming against Israel through Assyria and Babylon (see Micah 1:3-7, Isaiah 13:9-11 and Zephaniah 1:14-16 for examples).
- Verses 30-31: Many see these verses as a future event. It can certainly be read that way, and I am sure that Jesus will come again with power and great glory. It can also be interpreted as a fulfillment of the judgement passed on Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Even the part where Jesus gathers His elect can be seen as the gathering of all Christians who fled Jerusalem, or an ongoing event rather than a future one. The language used is what is called prophet-speak, and can be read all over the Old Testament (a good example is Daniel 7:13-14 where the term, “coming in the clouds,” stands for His power and great glory).
- Verse 34: The term, “generation,” has been interpreted in many ways. Jesus used it often (six times in Matthew, three times in Mark, 10 times in Luke, and in Acts 2:40) and meant the people to whom He was talking. It may have a more general use concerning a future date.
- Regardless of our eschatological view, we come away from this passage with some basic truths:
- Jesus will return.
- No one knows when.
- Exact interpretation of this passage is not paramount.
- We are to learn the lesson of obedience to Christ from it.
In Jerusalem, on Wednesday, day 14 of the month of Nisan in 30 A.D, Jesus died on a cross. We, as does most of the world, do not go by a lunar calendar as Israel does, but by the Roman solar calendar, so our “Easter” sometimes does not coincide with the true week of Passover. This year, it’s off by four days. Even so, let us give solemn consideration to today as we remember our Lord’s death in our place.
Abba, I love You. Thank You for Jesus and His substitute sacrifice (propitiation) for me on that cross. Because of Him, I am now Your beloved and adopted son, brother to Jesus, and co-heir with Him! May all of my brothers and sisters in Christ give You praise today. WE ARE GRATEFUL! Amen.