Luke 23:26-31

Read the passage.

Luke doesn’t mention it, but condemned prisoners were scourged with a cat o’nine tails before being crucified. They also were expected to carry the cross beam from the city out to the place of execution. We know from John’s account that Jesus started out from the city carrying His cross, but the blood loss from the scourging probably made Him too weak to complete the journey. The Roman soldiers press a Simon of Cyrene into service to carry Jesus’s cross instead.

I have often heard it said that the people of Jerusalem were fickle. One day they are shouting “Hosanna!” and welcoming their Messiah into the city and not even a week later they are shouting “Crucify Him!” It is apparently easy to forget (as I have done before) that Jerusalem is a big city. It’s entirely likely that these two groups of people are entirely distinct. Even the few who might have been at both events, like some Pharisees, would hardly be changing their tune so quickly. Matthew and Mark describe a “crowd” calling for Jesus’s blood, with the help of the chief priests and scribes to rile them up, but here Luke says a “great multitude” is lamenting and mourning for Jesus’s impending death. Jesus had no friends present at His trial, but that doesn’t mean no one cared about Him.

On seeing the women weeping for Him, Jesus tells them to save it for themselves, because worse things are coming. I can’t tell if He’s referring to the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, or to the Great Tribulation that is still to come. It doesn’t help that the other times Jesus talked about these events, they were described together then too.

We trust in Your mercy and Your goodness, which promises to keep us safe in Your hands through to the end.

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