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Christ the King Sunday – November 20, 2022

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Christ the King Sunday – November 20, 2022

Jesus, even in his tortured state, confronts these “Daughters of Jerusalem,” the women responsible for bearing the future of the city, and its children.  Even though Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to it (Lk. 13:34), would be the death of him, Jesus prophesies to these women.  Jesus’ sorrow and pain at the death inflicted upon him cannot prevent the pain, sorrow, and death awaiting these women and their children which would be a magnitude greater.  He speaks of an event so tragic that barrenness would be blest, and fruitfulness cursed… so tragic that the ancient prayer would be invoked, “Mountains, fall on us; hills, cover us” (Hos. 10:8).

That ancient prayer to mountains and hills covered two circumstances, both involving idolatry.  The one circumstance represented the catching out of the people as they broke the covenant which the Lord had established with them as they entered the promised land.  The people are promised that, if they become “corrupt, make idols, or do evil things” (Dt. 4:25), then Moses would invoke the witness of both heaven and earth against the people (Dt. 4:26).  Their judgment would be swift and certain… they would be scattered.

The other circumstance arises when the prophet Hosea brings the Lord’s judgment upon Israel because it has erected altars to foreign gods upon the high places of Israel for their worship.  Those “high places” will be destroyed, chaos shall overtake them, and the people will “cry out to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’” (Hos. 10:8).

These Daughters of Jerusalem have yet to recognize their complicity in the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of Creation.  They may or may not have been among the crowds shouting, “Crucify him!  Crucify him!” but they—like you, me, and all humanity—put Jesus on the cross, giving him his only throne in this sin-broken world.

Table Talk:  Discuss Jesus the King enthroned on a cross.
Pray:  Father, make this crucified king, you Son Jesus, be my Lord.  Amen

Luke 23:27-43 English Standard Version

27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”