All Roads Lead To Jesus - Jeremiah

Day 24 of 66. All roads lead to Jesus.

JEREMIAH – Jesus is the Weeping Messiah
Reading: Jeremiah 32, Revelation 21

Crying is not an easy thing for some people. For some, crying is a sign of weakness. It makes us seem vulnerable and we absolutely can’t be seen as vulnerable. The problem is that these days there is much to mourn. We are living in the middle of a pandemic where death and disease are on the mind of almost everyone. Even if you are not concerned with losing your life, you have most probably experienced the loss and death of hopes, dreams, and things that you have looked forward to.

Our rhythms are all messed up. High School students have experienced loss in their achievements. Grandparents have had to settle for virtual hugs and drive-bys to meet their newborn grandchildren. Newlyweds have canceled their wedding parties and have had smaller affairs so that they can begin life together. Men and women have lost their jobs and don’t know how to sustain their families.

When we pile on the injustices in our world, the lack of true leadership in important places, bickering and fighting on 24-hour news cycles, and the politicization of the most mundane tasks, it almost becomes too much to bear and too much to actually continue caring about.

What we are seeing is the heart of humanity laid bare before their idols. We are seeing the brokenness of this world and it causes us to weep.

Jeremiah prophesied during the final days of the Southern Kingdom before the Babylonian exile. The book that compiles Jeremiah’s prophecies focuses on God’s judgment. Despite the warnings of Jeremiah and many other prophets, the people of Judah continued to worship other gods, pursue the world, rebel against the Law of God, and break the Covenant.

Jeremiah pleaded with Judah and he was largely ignored. He watched as Judah suffered foreign invasion and military losses. Jeremiah preached through a national crisis such as famine and finally exile. He became known as “the weeping prophet”.

Jeremiah was persecuted for speaking the truth. The military leaders and political leaders charged Jeremiah with discouraging the military and so they threw him into a cistern in order to starve him to death. He was rescued and ironically treated with great respect by the enemy king.

Like Jeremiah, Jesus wept over the people of God. Like Jeremiah, Jesus was despised by his own people and rejected. Like Jeremiah, Jesus taught that God was going to judge the world for their sin. Jeremiah and Jesus both wept because Israel had rejected their identity as God’s people. They knew that Israel was rejecting God and missing out on the blessings of the covenant.

Among the words of the weeping prophet are these words of hope, “They will be my people, and I will be their God.” Jeremiah prophesied that after the great scattering in the exile there would be a great gathering in the restored Jerusalem. After the discipline, there would be rejoicing. After the rebellion, there would be worship and reverence of the Lord.

Judah would experience this in part when they returned from exile some 70 years after Jeremiah prophesied. This new generation returned to Jerusalem, rebuilt the walls and the temple and their homes. They heard the Law read by Ezra and followed the orders of Nehemiah. But what they experienced in the return to Jerusalem was only a foreshadowing of the New Covenant God was declaring through Jeremiah.

These words of God spoken through Jeremiah are what we call the Immanuel Principle. Immanuel means, “God with us.” This theme runs throughout the entire breadth and width of the story of redemption. The story begins with God dwelling with his people in the Garden of Eden. It continues with God visiting his people throughout the Old Testament. It rises to a crescendo when God becomes one of us in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. And now this story races to a climactic finish as we long for Jesus to return.

When Jesus returns, we will see the culmination of the Immanuel Principle. The book of Revelation echoes Jeremiah when John writes, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Jesus was the fulfillment of the weeping prophet. Jesus is the fulfillment of God making His dwelling among His people. Jesus is the one who would bring all of God’s people together from every nation under the one roof of God’s Kingdom. Jesus is the one who makes the ending of the story possible for God to dwell with his people and his people to dwell with God. This is the point which all of history is racing toward.

This ending of the story is why Jesus wept over Jerusalem just as Jeremiah wept over Judah. Just after Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to begin the last week of his life before the crucifixion, Luke tells us that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He wept because they did not believe that the One they had waited for all these years was now among them. He wept because in another 40 years, Jerusalem would never be the same after it was destroyed by Rome.

Jesus went into the Garden and he wept. Jesus went to the Cross weeping. He wept on the Cross as the laments of the Psalmist were on his lips. His last words were a cry of anguish.

But Jesus weeps no more. Jesus is restoring and reconciling all of creation so that one day, we will weep no more. This is one of the many promises of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a promise that we need today for we have many reasons to weep.

Let’s face it. The times we live in are a struggle. But we have objective truth in the Word of God. We know the ending of the story. Nothing that we are experiencing should be surprising to us - whether we are being persecuted or we are experiencing the brokenness of this world – none of it should shock us.

And none of it should break us. The Christian worships an unbreakable Savior who at one time wept for us. This same weeping Savior is now an unbroken and resurrected Savior. This Savior is returning as King to make all things new. I want to encourage you today to put your hope in the past performance of God’s redemptive plan as you read the words of Jeremiah 32 and to rest in the promises of God’s promises as you take in the words of Jesus in Revelation, “Surely, I am coming soon!”

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