Jesus weeps therefore we weep
On the anniversary of the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians in 587 AD the Jewish temple was burnt again, this time by the Roman army in 70 AD. The last to fall was Masada where the
defenders chose suicide over surrender. The writer of Luke laments this violence through the tears of Jesus; knowing that had the people learnt the things that made for peace, this destruction would not have happened. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Jesus still weeps over Jerusalem and is heard wailing near the Gaza strip where
conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians still dominate. Jesus weeps over us too.
Jesus weeps over our injustice to the earth, and weeps over how we are destroying ourselves by destroying the environment. Isaiah says: “Ho he who thirsts come to the waters.” Yet 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water (WHO/UNICEF). The United Nations have warned that by the year 2025, if present trends continue, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity by 2025, and two-thirds of the world population could be subject to water stress.
Jesus weeps over us and our destruction of the earth, this burden weighs heavily on Australians whose emissions are only surpassed by that of China and the US yet we are only a small percentage of the world
By weeping Jesus aligns himself with the Lamenting women, who are prophets and who stand in a long tradition of professional mourning women. Jeremiah for example says: “Call for the mourning women to come. Send for the skilled women. Let them quickly raise a lament over us. Let them cry for us so that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids overflow with water. Let them teach us to cry, to lament, to mourn, to weep in response to devastation.” By lamenting Jesus places himself in solidarity with the prophets which include this professional class of women.
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33 Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a
prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ 34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”