March 24

Matthew 23:37-39 37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

Jesus presented Himself to Jerusalem on the Sunday in which the families of Israel selected their lamb for Passover sacrifice. He came into town on a donkey as the kings of Israel did when they were coming in peace. The crowds seemed to be receptive, welcoming Him, but Jesus wept and uttered the lament that is our passage for today. He saw that the people were seeking a military savior and not the spiritual Savior. He looked beyond the crowd who were caught up in the moment, and could see their next enthusiastic shouts would become "Crucify Him!" He looked even further into the future and saw the Roman army leveling the city and the temple.

His heart was to save them from the destruction they were bringing on themselves, both physical and spiritual. The crowd did not have ears to hear or understand. We look back and wonder how they could be so dull in heart. How could they see the miracles and yet insist on their own agenda? Yet we tend to live in the same pattern. Jesus comes to give us new life and we welcome it with shouts of "Hosanna!" Before long however, we are making decisions against our Savior. All of us are of like nature. That is why Jesus made His journey to the cross. He came to deliver us from our fallen nature, not from material difficulties or hardship.

He longs to gather us, too. What a beautiful picture! The mother hen sees the hawk and calls her chicks under her wings. She is willing to be the one that endures the talons to save her little ones. Won't you run under the wings of Jesus? Those who reject His shelter now will one day see Him coming on the clouds in glory. Then every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is the Lord.

Consider: Why not bow the knee now? It is the only safe place to be.