By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 34 ‘How often I have desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!’
Aren’t we glad the story doesn’t end after part two? The cross-story is the gospel—and what begins in life, ends in life. Faced with the ‘city that kills,’ Jesus takes up a prophet’s lament: ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.’ What a striking and deeply moving image: the one who will be killed by the city, mourns it—grieved that it will not accept the healing that he offers. Jesus gives expression to the always-loving, maternal heart of God, a heart that is broken by our brokenness and our stubborn resistance to what makes for life. This is the same cry I heard years ago in one of our Bible studies. A beloved sister loudly proclaimed, ‘God wants me to live!’ Yes! That’s it: God wants us to live. God wants us well. God’s will is our well-being. This is the unchanging truth about God, always and at all times. The ugliness and brokenness in our world comes from our own resistance, our own strange unwillingness. And yet the entire mission Jesus leads, including the cross itself, is for wholeness—and can only end in wholeness. Here, in this love, we glimpse the hope, the promise, the truth so wonderful it is almost beyond our human capacity to believe: Christ crucified, buried in the grave, will indeed be raised! Because the love of God will always find its way to save us. Here, even in the looming shadow of the cross, there is hope in that love—even if it means we too must be raised from the dead.
Prayer God of life, you want us to live—and your love will always outlast our fears.