Easter Devotional | 2024 - Day 4

Jesus Addresses the Daughters of Jerusalem

By Julianne Thompson

“But Jesus turning to them said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.’” ~ Luke 23:28

Walking through the ancient streets of Old Jerusalem felt like stepping into a time capsule, where each cobblestone held the whispers of centuries past. Traveling to each site, I tried to imagine what these places would have really looked like over 2,000 years ago. It was one of the most profound spiritual experiences I have ever had. Yet, what surprised me the most about my time in Israel was not connecting with the past. Instead, present-day Jerusalem took me by surprise. It made me ask the question, “How can all of these people live in the Holy Land and see the evidence of Jesus Christ every day right before their eyes and not believe that He is the Messiah?” My heart aches for these people. This is what Jesus was talking about when he addressed the Daughters of Jerusalem along the Via Dolorosa.

Just for a moment, imagine what this scene would have looked like. Jesus was beaten, bleeding, and scourged. He had endured a level of suffering we will never understand as He carried His cross along the Via Dolorosa amidst a mocking crowd that had cheered ‘Hosanna’ only days before. Instead of hurrying down the path to alleviate His suffering as quickly as possible, remarkably, Jesus pauses to address a crowd of women who are mourning and grieving for Him (v. 27). Jesus turns to them and says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28).

While these women were focused on the immediate human suffering, Jesus spoke of a deeper, eternal suffering that awaited those who would reject Him as their Savior. Jesus went on to say, “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that 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 when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:29–31). Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for all, yet many of His own chosen people, the children of Israel, rejected Him. However, the invitation to salvation is open to all who choose to believe in Him.

The encounter with these women on the Via Dolorosa wasn’t the first instance where Jesus expressed this type of sorrow. Luke 19:41–44 says, “When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.'”

As Christians, our ultimate goal is to emulate Christ in every aspect of our lives. These stories are instructive not just for our actions but for our hearts. What deeply affects Jesus should deeply affect us. Just as Jesus told the Daughters of Jerusalem to focus less on immediate circumstances and more on our eternal destination, we are called to care deeply about those around us who, like the Jews who rejected Jesus at His first coming, will be equally lost when He returns.

In a world plagued by human suffering, Jesus offers hope and redemption to those who make a decision to trust in Him. Psalm 34:18 offers comforting words, saying, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Here, we are reminded of our Heavenly Father’s compassion and presence in the midst of suffering. This verse is an intimate invitation to acknowledge His presence in the depths of our challenges, and it comforts us because, through Him, we have hope.

This hope isn’t meant to be kept to ourselves but to be shared actively, contributing to spreading the message of redemption and salvation. This Easter, let’s not be distant spectators. Don’t just weep for those who are lost, but act. Invite someone you know to hear the Resurrection story so they, too, can find hope through Christ Jesus, who promises to wipe away our tears.

Questions for Thought

  1. Consider Jesus’ words to the Daughters of Jerusalem. How does His message challenge us to share the hope of salvation with those who have yet to accept Him?
  2. How have you experienced the nearness of the Lord in your challenges?

Daily Challenge

Commit to praying daily for the spiritual openness and receptiveness of at least one person in your life who has not yet accepted Jesus as their Savior. Set aside a specific time each day to lift them up in prayer, asking God to soften their hearts, open their minds to the truth of the gospel, and draw them closer to Himself this Easter. 

Author Bio

Julianne Thompson

Content Manager

Julianne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with double minors in Chinese and Theatre from Oklahoma City University and earned her Master’s in Brand Communication at Oklahoma State University. Julianne represented Oklahoma in 2012 as Miss Oklahoma’s Outstanding Teen and is now actively involved in her Dallas community, taking a leadership role in the Duet Sunday School class. During her free time, she enjoys exploring the world with her husband, Nathan.

Author in Israel