Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of August 3, 2008

Lamentations 1:12
“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see If there is any sorrow like my sorrow, Which has been brought on me, Which the LORD has inflicted In the day of His fierce anger.

Years ago I was traveling a freeway on a nice Saturday afternoon. The speed limit had recently been raised from 55 to 65 miles per hour and the traffic was moving right along on that interstate highway. All of a sudden the traffic came to a halt. After idling the car for a while I finally tuned it off and got out of the car to talk to others who were also getting out of their cars. Nobody knew why we were stopped. Pretty soon we heard cars ahead of us starting their engines and it wasn’t long before we started creeping along. We got to a bridge where there had been an accident with a motorcycle. The person on the cycle was no longer there but the mangled cycle still lay on the shoulder. After passing that scene the traffic stayed slow for about 10 miles and then we were all back to our original speeds, sailing along at about five miles an hour over the posted speed limit. I thought, “How soon we forget.” The accident made people think for about ten miles and then it was back to business as usual.

Jeremiah felt that way about the destruction of Jerusalem. Jerusalem had been a glorious city. It was where the temple was and where the Lord had placed His name. It was the city where King David and his son King Solomon lived while they ruled the undivided kingdom of Israel. It was a city to be envied. But the Israelites had turned their back upon God and now God had turned his back on Jerusalem. It had been destroyed by the Babylonians. You can read about what happened in 2 Kings 25 :8-11.

Jeremiah who wrote the book of Lamentations is concerned that people will pass by the destroyed city and will not realize that this happened to the city because of its rebellion against God. When disaster strikes it often speaks to us at the time and makes us think about our relationship with God. As time passes, however, it is easy to forget what happened, and it is possible to turn a deaf ear to the voice of God that has spoken in the disaster.

Two thousand years ago, more or less, a great injustice was done to an innocent victim outside the city gates of Jerusalem. A man who claimed to be the Son of God and who had done no wrong but instead had done a lot of good was crucified as though he were a common criminal. This person is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that He is the Son of God because death could not hold him in its grip. Over 500 people were witnesses to the fact that He was alive after He had died according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:6. People went by the cross and smote their breasts because of the injustice that was being done (Luke 23:48). But what does the cross mean to us now? Because of the passing of time, it is possible for that fateful day when the Lord died for our sins to lose its importance and to lose its impact on our relationship with God..

Just as the destruction of Jerusalem should remind the nations that God really does rule, so the cross of Christ should remind us that God really does judge sin. We can either accept the substitutionary death of Christ as payment for our sins or we can pay for them ourselves throughout eternity. But surely, the events that took place at Calvary should speak to us today just as much as when the events occurred. But I am afraid that the question Jeremiah asked about the destruction of Jerusalem should be asked today with regard to the cross.

Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by? We are all passing by the cross, and hopefully it causes those of us who are saved to worship. It should cause those who are not saved to fear God and to flee to Him for salvation.

The value of the cross and the value of the Lord who died on it should never be forgotten or diminished because of the passage of time.

Bruce Collins

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