Weep Not For Me!

The Suffering Savior, Part 2
Luke 23:27-33

Luke’s Gospel account abounds in stories, parables, and sayings in which our Lord demonstrated mercy and love toward the less privileged: the shepherds, widow, the leper, and the poor.

Some have even called Luke’s Gospel the Gospel of womanhood, for Luke shows the profound regard Jesus has for women: for Elizabeth, Mary, His mother, Anna, Joanna, Martha and Mary, and here, the “daughters of Jerusalem.” Women have a heart for Jesus Christ because they are perhaps more touched by His love and sacrifice. Do women understand the concepts of love and sacrifice more naturally than men?

This passage before us is unique to Luke’s Gospel.

It is a wonder that the breath of life still remains in Jesus! The wheels of Jewish and Roman injustice have spun with amazing speed. What takes our nation sometimes 20 years to accomplish, takes just a few hours for those bent on the crucifixion of Jesus to accomplish. John 19:17 makes clear that Jesus bore his cross as he begins this lonely walk to Mount Calvary. Executions took place outside the city. Somewhere along the way, however, Jesus falls under the weight of the cross, and one Simon of Cyrene is forcibly grabbed and made to carry Christ’s cross the rest of the distance. What abuse is laid upon Simon! Simon is mentioned in three of the Gospel accounts. Matthew 27:32, “They found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” Mark tells us that he is “the father of Alexander and Rufus” (Mark 15:21). That is significant, for Paul in writing to the Romans, greets “Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine” (Romans 16:13). Simon was from an area that is now Libya, in Western Africa. It is interesting to note that many in the early New Testament Church were from Cyrene.  I am convinced that Simon became a believer or was already a believer.   That is why they compelled him to carry the cross. Jesus made such an impression upon him that he is not ashamed of the cross that Jesus died upon! What an honor he had that day! Who would have wanted to carry that cross? Why none at the moment, but in retrospect, would there not be a fight to see who could carry it! Oh, Christian, no one wants to carry the cross at the moment it must be carried, yet that is the precise time it must be carried! Simon leads Jesus through the Via Dolorosa, the “Sorrowful Way.”

Upon the place where Jesus was scourged and mocked by the soldiers Pilate is a Convent of the Sisters of Zion, and in this convent is a mosaic depicting Jesus carrying the cross.

Paul cried out of his desire to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. We will never fully know HIM until we fellowship in His sufferings. We will never understand the power of His resurrection until we fellowship in His sufferings. Throughout the sufferings of Jesus we see the glory of God, that is, we see the perfection of all God’s eternal attributes manifest: His grace, love, justice, patience, mercy.

Let us see this morning from the phrase, Weep not for me, but Weep for Yourselves. Jesus does not want your pity!

Is seeking pity not a part of our selfish, human condition? Are we not pity seekers? If we are attacked or despised, are we not prone to turn our eyeballs inward and focus on our WOES. Woe is Me! When we are in pain, we want others to know. When we have suffered, we want others to know. When we have been cursed, we want others to know. We want others to feel sorry for us. We like it. It validates our feelings.

1. Look at Jesus’ Selfless Humility, and REPENT!

Weep Not for me! Can you imagine enduring what he has already endured and not accept a little sympathy! This is a pathetic human sight. What suffering He has endured and is enduring and yet will endure! Remember what Jesus has already endured!

1. Betrayed by Judas

2. Agony of the Garden of Gethsemane

3. Deserted by his disciples

4. Denied by his closest friend

5. Beaten and tortured before an unjust Sanhedrin

6. Mocked by Herod

7. Scourged by Pilate

8. Beaten and abused in seven different ways by Pilates soldiers.

9. He has carried the cross through the streets and fallen under the weight.

Jesus was not one to seek pity from people. Why? Tears of sympathy do not save. He does not want people to feel sorry for him, but to repent and believe in Him.

“Repentance is a change of mind as a gift of God on account of His goodness, accompanied by a sorrow for sin and a saving faith in Jesus Christ.”

G. Campbell Morgan said it this way, “I have often wished that no one had ever painted a picture of the crucifixion. I am not denying the tragedy of the physical, but I often feel that in connection with our children, we are in danger if we talk too much with them of the nails and the thorns and the spear. These were merely the incidentals, all of them necessary, I grant you, to work out into visibility before these poor human eyes of ours, something of the unfathomable sorrows of God in Christ in the Cross. Yet there is always a danger lest for very pity of heart, we become more occupied with the physical suffering than with the spiritual agony.”

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not about feeling sorry for Jesus Christ or God! It is about salvation. It is about Jesus bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, so He says, weep not for me! It is about seeing our sins, and weeping for our sins and the judgment that will come upon us.

Repent of your pride, and see the inward humility of our Lord Jesus Christ! Humility is the essence of Jesus’ character: He is the meek and lowly one.

Philippians 2:4,5,8; Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 2. Look at Jesus’ Victorious Steadfastness and BELIEVE!

Weep not for me! Why did they weep? Did they see weakness? They needed to see power and strength. Did they see injustice? They needed to see God's holiness and righteousness.

Consider the unbelievable character of Jesus. Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves! Is that not amazing steadfastness and courage? Is that not unparalleled leadership? Is that not the perfection of holiness? Is that not the crowning of patience? Weep not for me, for He knew He has come to die.

One of the amazing things about the trial of Jesus is his silence. How many times he said nothing! Why is this amazing? Because He is the WORD OF GOD. The Word of God answers nothing. The Word of God is silent! Jesus was before the Sanhedrin, What did He say?

Matthew 26:63, But Jesus held his peace (before the Sanhedrin)

Do you remember when Jesus was before Herod. What did He say?  Luke 23:9 says, “He (Herod) questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

When Jesus was before Pilate, what did he say? “He answered him to never a word.” Matthew 27:14

Nothing! In general, he answered them with silence, for they were not worthy to hear His precious word.

But here, to these daughters of Jerusalem, Jesus speaks, for they are open to His Word. He seeks to focus them on what is important. Weep not for me!

Jesus knew He was going to die and rise again. He knew He was born to die and to put death to death! In Luke 9:51, “He stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” That steadfastness is to establish or strengthen himself to go to Jerusalem. That strength still persists as He says, Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves. He knew why He has come, “not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

Weep not for me, for this suffering was not his defeat but His triumph. Believe He died FOR YOU, that you might be saved. If you do not believe this, you will never be saved. It does not matter how many tears you may shed, you will be lost and in hell you will gnash your teeth.

BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is why He says weep not for me. Saving faith is intellectual, emotional, and volitional. This path of sorrow was so that we might have joy, this rejection was for our redemption. He has come to pay the ransom for our sins,

Mark 10:45, For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Ransom: The payment of a price in order to set us free.

The payment of His blood was made to God in order to free us from the penalty of the law, Galatians 3:13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…

God has set us free from the POWER OF SIN, “That he might redeem us from all iniquity” (Titus 2:14); and “He gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world,” Galatians 1:4.

Scriptures teach that Christ redeems us from the power of Satan, 2 Timothy 2:26.

Man of sorrows, what a name, for the Son of God who came, ruined sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah, what a Savior!

There on the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, this man “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, is at this very moment bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Weep not, but REPENT!, as you see His SELFLESS HUMILITY.

Weep not, but BELIEVE!, as you see His VICTORIOUS COURAGE.

3. Look at Jesus’ Calm Assurance and WORSHIP!

Weep not for me, Jesus says, but rather worship Him.

A. He knew He was the Son of God!

What calm assurance! He knew he was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and that his kingdom was not of this world. There was joy set before our Lord and he was willing to endure the wrath of God and the wickedness of man. Jesus knows that He is the Everlasting Father, the Messiah and Savior for all.

What calm assurance is in Jesus, for He knows who He is, the Son of God; He knows where He came from, from heaven, the sent One of the Father;

B. He knew He would rise again!

Jesus says, Weep not for me! Why did He say that? He knew that there was joy set before Him!

Hebrews 12:2; Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

C. He knew He would make many rich!

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich, 2 Cor.8:9.

D. He knew He would come back again!

And he knew where He was going, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2,3)

Worship the Lord Jesus, just as the wise men worshiped him, just as the disciples after He walked on the water, as the man born blind did!

John 5:23; That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

4. Look at Jesus’ Prophetical Wisdom and PREPARE!

Weep for yourselves! Weep for your children! Even as He bears His cross and no doubt is in excruciating pain, Jesus is thinking about the WOMEN of Jerusalem and their CHILDREN. Because He is the omniscient God, He knows what will befall Jerusalem. He is concerned about their physical and eternal safety. He challenges these women to prepare themselves for the judgment to come.

Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel!

So Jesus refuses to focus on the injustices committed against him. He looks ahead to the physical destruction of Jerusalem. He looks ahead to the eternal destinies of those around him.

We are prone to focus on the present injustices that we see around us and get all caught up in what is wrong with our society. We weep for those who have been ill-treated. Jesus in the midst of His physical suffering that demonstrates the greatest human injustice in the history of the world, put our attention on the eternal condition of those around him.

Just a few days before this, on the day of the Triumphal Entry, He wept over Jerusalem.

Luke 19:41,42: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hed from thine eyes.

The calamities and miseries associated with the destruction Jerusalem was an awful and terrible moment. There was rape and murder; famine and pestilence; sword and fire; weeping and wailing.

It will be better for a woman to not even have a child, v.29.

They would rather cry out to the mountains and hills to end their misery than repent of their sins and cry out to God!

Jesus is saying, in effect, “If the Roman authorities do this to One who is innocent, what will they do to you who are guilty? When the day of judgment arrives, can there be any escape for you?” The green wood is moist and is not burned easily. The dry wood consumes more quickly. Therefore if the green wood is made to burn, then surely the dry wood will burn and be consumed.

Who is the green wood? Who is the dry wood? Jesus is the green wood. The nation of Israel with its corruption is the dry wood.

John Calvin said, The lamentation of the women is foolish, if they do not likewise expect and dread the awful judgment of God which hangs over the wicked.

Jesus demonstrates his unquenching desire that these women and all Jerusalem would repent of their sins and so be delivered from the wrath to come.

Jesus is burdened for the salvation of His people, for the daughters of Jerusalem and their children who would face great judgment in less than 40 years. He knows that many will be in Jerusalem who would rather call out to the mountains and hills than call out to God for salvation.

He has come to seek and to save that which was lost. His heart yearns for the salvation of souls.

One of the most significant events of all history, prophesied is foretold in just a few words! Calvary, which comes to us from the Latin word, Calvaria. It means skull, Cranion. The Hebrew word is Golgotha.

Jesus does not want your pity, He desires your REPENTANCE and FAITH; He is worthy of your WORSHIP. And PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD! WONDER and WORSHIP! Do not weep, WORSHIP! Do not weep, REPENT and BELIEVE!