And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed! Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:26-31
When we see someone making choices that take away their hope of peace, our hearts are heavy. We are concerned when friends and family make decisions we are sure will bring them sorrow, pain, disappointment. We care deeply for them and want them to experience the best this life has to offer.
Jesus came offering peace. Not just any peace, but peace with God, a deep abiding peace through which all of life could be experienced. He knew this peace would bring joy, hope, comfort, assurance, promise. If you were capable of giving your friends and family a peace that would transform their lives for eternity, would you not grieve when they chose to reject it and destroy their hopes for it?
So Jesus grieved, deeply the Bible tells us, so much so that His sweat fell as blood while He prayed. And so, as He made His way to the cross, His concern wasn’t for Himself, but for the world. A world without His peace would be a sad world indeed.
“Peace I give to you,” was what Jesus had said. Without peace we have nothing. Jesus knew this. And we know it. When our lives are torn apart by our sinful behaviors, we do not have peace. Not with one another, and certainly not with God.
Jesus wants us to have peace. This is what He brought to us and what He longs for us to have. “I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” This Christmas we can still discover what it means to live with peace.