photo 25Luke 23 verses 30, 31. “Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Notice how God gets his will done in a rebellion and hostile world. As Christ was led away to be executed the Roman guards press-ganged a passer-by and made him carry Jesus’ cross. This man had no choice. The army wanted it done and that was that. But see how God operates. It was the divine will and fore-ordination that the Son of God should die as a ransom for sinners. The High Priest and the chief priests, Judas, Satan and the howling mob, all had a part in bringing God’s Son to his death. But none of them had been forced by God to do it. All of them had their own reasons and all their actions were voluntary. Yet in the end they did what God’s power and will have decided beforehand should happen (Acts 4 verse 28).

But see also the consequences of their actions. As Jesus was taken away a number of women wailed and lamented him. But this may have been nothing more than a psychological reaction at the sight of a young man being taken away to his death. It may have had nothing to do with a moral conscience. That is why Christ told them to weep for themselves and their children, for before them lay a time of terrible suffering when finally the Romans besieged Jerusalem, then tore it apart in AD70. In those days it would seem that childlessness would be better than having children and death better than life. Judgement was to come, if only they could see it.

We always reap what we sow. As a direct, even if a distant, consequence of calling for this injustice, they would one day call again for the mountains to fall on them to save them from the consequences of what they called for the first time. “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (verse31). In other words if such injustice can take place when the government and country are stable, and a reasonably civilised society, ordered by a religious system of divine law that stood for justice and morality, what would happen when society has lost all respect for justice, law, religion and God? The green tree eventually turns into a dried up stump.

Yet as solemn as judgement is, the narrative now shows us on what conditions forgiveness can be granted. We will look at that tomorrow.

Do you not think this whole story is amazing? How easily we forget that our actions have consequences. But they do. We always reap what we sow. How much better to turn to Christ as our Saviour, than to wait for the consequences.