Tasters from the King's Table

Cry for Jerusalem

The prophet Jeremiah is known as "the weeping prophet", because his book is filled with emotion and tears for Judah. He is for example the prophet that says: "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eye a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" But his tears are not only his: they are also the cry of God for the apostate nation.

Jeremiah also wrote the book of Lamentations. According to tradition, he wrote it sat down on a nearby mountain, while he saw the devastation of the city. His words therefore rise up, in waves of growing pain, as a delicate groan, in curses and sighs.

Jerusalem was a woman. Had not God been its beloved and her His beloved, which God had washed, adorned with jewels and clothed with beauty? But now Jerusalem is the adulterous woman that has become "like a widow", and cries bitterly in the night. The prophet feels pity for her: "As great as the ocean is your brokenness, who will heal you"?. There is nothing that can be done now but cry, and so he invites her to do it: "Oh daughter of Zion, pour forth tears like a stream day and night; don't rest, nor stop the pupils of your eyes."

The image of Jeremiah crying over Jerusalem repeats itself almost six hundred years later. It is not Jeremiah now, of course, but Jesus, with whom His contemporaries found in Him a certain resemblance. He also cries, and in his crying says: " Jerusalem, Jerusalem you who kill the prophets, and stone those that who are sent to you! How many times I wanted to gather together your children, as the hen gathers its chicks under its wings, and you were unwilling! Look, your house is left to you deserted…." The city is not yet desolate; however, Jesus can see it just as it will be forty years later. Exactly as Jeremiah saw it.

But the image of a prophet crying for Jerusalem has a third manifestation. Today the true Jerusalem -the Church - is also desolate, and the Lord Jesus again cries over its ruins. It is Christ's cry for His unfaithful lover. Almost all that Jeremiah says over that widow in Lamentations is applicable to the Church today. Will today's prophets join together in Christ's cry for His beloved, like Jeremiah did beforehand over Jerusalem?

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