Updated: Jun 2, 2020
John W. Moore
Head covered, barefoot and weeping, King David climbed the Mount of Olives[i] in hurried flight. The Kingdom was in turmoil. His son had led a rebellion against him. Government officials had betrayed him. Friends had become traitors, and David and his family were on the run. Leaving the comfort and protection of Jerusalem, David would once again find himself headed toward the wilderness (2 Samuel 15-16), ascending a hill that would one day become a mountain of tears.
One-thousand years after the reign of David, the Son of God also wept along the path on the Mount of Olives. But instead of running away from trouble, our Lord descended in painful tears toward a city that would torture and murder Him. His cries, however, were not for Himself—but for the people of Israel whom He loved so much. “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not,” He lamented (Matthew 23:37).
Once more our Lord would cry on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39), but this time, I was the one for whom He was crying.
YOU were the one for whom He was “sorrowful even unto death” (Matthew 26:38). Because of sin’s tragic consequences, the perfect and beautiful rose of Sharon had to be crucified. At Gethsemane, sweat drops of blood poured from His brow, and with “loud cries and tears” He offered up prayers and supplication (Hebrews 5:7). As the songwriter Samuel Reed said, “Long in anguish deep was He, weeping there for you and me.”
Yes, the Mount of Olives was a place for tears. Even today, a small church building designed in the shape of a teardrop has been erected on its slope. Its purpose is to remind those who visit this cherished site of the sorrow He bore on that hallowed hill. In our own times of sorrow and pain, may this mountain serve to remind all of us of both the tragedy of sin and the love of our Savior; especially when we are emitting our own mountain of tears. Let us remember, that our God is full of emotion, and He hurts over the tragedy of a fallen world and the evil it endures. May we remember the words of the well-known and beloved hymn, In Gethsemane Alone.
“Long in anguish deep was He, Weeping there for you and me. For our sin to Him was known; We should love Him evermore For the anguish that He bore In Gethsemane alone.”
“Oh, what love, matchless love, Oh, what love for me was shown! His forever I will be, For the love He gave to me, When He suffered all alone.”
Praise be to God for his heart of love and matchless grace.
[i] See the following video to learn more about the history and geography of Jerusalem: http://biblelandpassages.org/passages/passage-1-jerusalem-an-unforgettable-city/