The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

The Green Wood

Kent E. Heaton Sr.

As Jesus was being led away to be crucified, "a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, 'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which 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 in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?"

In the final hours of His life, Jesus offers a proverbial pronouncement upon the sadness of the world around Him. Mankind was about to kill the Son of God - to murder an innocent victim of jealously, greed and lust of power. The creature was killing the Creator; the servant was destroying the Master. How tragic and how sad for the world when based upon the whims of jealous men, an innocent man was put to death.

The Roman government (as represented by Herod and Pilate) had found no fault in Jesus (Luke 23:14-15Luke 23:14,15). Pilate suggested that he would beat the poor man and release him. The people cried more, "Crucify Him, crucify Him." Luke 23:22 records the final plea of Pilate: "Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go." The Jewish crowd would have no such thing - they demanded the death of the man of Nazareth ... and they led Him away to the place called Calvary.

Jesus reflection, "If they do these things in the green wood (tree - KJV), what will be done in the dry?" ask the question of what the Jews think the Romans will do when the wrath of the Roman power is turned against them. There will come a day when they will wish they had never been born nor their children. The wrath of the Roman army will come down upon them in a most horrible manner. While the scene of death at the cross of Jesus was tragic, how sad when Jesus knows of the events that will unfold for the Jewish nation not many years away.

Matthew 24 tells of the horrible nature of the coming destruction upon Jerusalem. In the short space of forty years all this would come about. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman armies, under the command of Titus in A. D. 70. Josephus (a Jewish historian) recounts the bloody massacre when the city was taken: "And now, rushing into the city, they slew whomsoever they found, without distinction, and burned the houses and all the people who had fled into them; and when they entered for the sake of plunder, they found whole families of dead persons, and houses full of carcasses destroyed by famine, then they came out with their hands empty. And though they thus pitied the dead, they had not the same emotion for the living, but killed all they met, whereby they filled the lanes with dead bodies. The whole city ran with blood, insomuch that many things which were burning were extinguished by the blood." [Jewish Wars,; ch9]

While the Jewish leaders led their captive away to death with rejoicing at their greed and jealousy, the very government allowing them to do so would turn and rend them in a great destruction. Jesus is the only answer we have in our lives. Psalm 118:8 says, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Amen.