This time of Jesus’ life has been the subject of wondrous art forms through centuries, and presented on screen by various production companies in recent decades. It is his walk through the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, to Golgotha.
As we look back on the scene as written here, we might easily overlook one thing Jesus said. Although, since we’ve read through Luke’s documentary this month and have very recently heard Jesus talk with the disciples about some things to come at the end of the age, this sentence might actually stand out:
“For if men will do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (vs31).
The crowds were watching something very evil taking place, but Jesus was implying that the future would bring worse.
There are those who will say the world has always been evil, and things today are pretty much as they have always been, but it seems that’s not how Jesus saw it unfolding. He saw the green becoming dry—-perhaps without the abundant water of the Word, or the life of his Spirit.
As this chapter went on to its completion, however, I was heartened by this: even on the cross, with something taking place that would change the world, he was the same Jesus we have walked with—-Jesus in the moment, caring for the one there with him, undoing the works of Satan in just one man, the repentant thief who recognized who Jesus was and made a remarkable request.
Jesus is the same today as then, and will be tomorrow. No matter what is going on, no matter how bad things look, we have Jesus’ attention. His ears are open to our cry, and He answers.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise,'” (Luke 23:43).