The Easter scenes take place in the Israeli city of Jerusalem, where a fascinating connection between an Old Testament and a New Testament event happens.
Around 1,000 B.C., one of King David’s sons, Amnon, raped his half-sister, David’s daughter, Tamar. So another one of David’s sons, Absalom, against his father’s wishes, had Amnon killed. Absalom then fled and lived in the land of his grandfather for three years. When Absalom returned to Jerusalem he conspired to overthrow his father, King David.
Can you imagine the heartache and pain David was going through? David finds out what Absalom is doing, so he flees Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 15:30 describes the situation this way: “David went on up the Mount of Olives crying; he was barefoot and had his head covered as a sign of grief.”
We can deny it. We can fight it. But as humans, we are wired for love, family, connections and relationships. But with the heartache and pain we have faced, we wonder if that love exists. We wonder if there is any hope for those scars to get better.
A thousand years later, Jesus went down the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem for the final time, knowing that he would be celebrated at first, then betrayed, arrested and crucified. Luke 19:41 describes the scene this way: “As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”
David cried over Jerusalem as he fled for his life; Jesus, who was in the lineage of David through his father Joseph, wept over Jerusalem as he arrived for the final time.
Did Jesus weep because he was about to face unthinkable levels of pain; including betrayal, loneliness and horrific acts of verbal, emotional, legal and physical abuse? No. Jesus cried because he was entering Jerusalem to provide a path and hope for healing for our scars and he knew that many would reject his offer. Many would ignore and actively resist his truth and presence, not just in his day but in our day; in our families, neighborhoods and communities. Every tear tells a story…the tears of Jesus tell us a story of love and compassion.
On Easter weekend I am starting a new series called “Dancing with the Scars.” During the series we will learn that every scar also tells a story. The scars of Jesus tell us a story that he took a beating so we could find healing. Healing begins when we find peace with God through Jesus Christ.
Seven hundred years before Jesus was born the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53:5 predicted the healing steps that Jesus would take for us: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The point of Easter, as good as ham dinners, Easter baskets and building family memories are is: Jesus was permanently scarred so we could be forever healed. This is why Easter is a really big deal. I hope you never forget this. And our healing begins when we receive Christ as our Savior. I like to describe it as saying Yes! to Christ…Yes! to his invitation to forgive, rescue and redeem us. Will you seek and receive Jesus this Easter?
God bless you. See you next Sunday!