37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” (Matthew 23:37–39, NKJV)
The Messiah expressed His ardent desire to draw Jerusalem close to Himself, comfort her and protect her. Yet, Jerusalem was not willing to receive His love. She killed God’s prophets; their message was disdainful to her. She stoned God’s servants, and would soon kill God’s Son. Now, the desolation of divine judgment was in her future. Only by understanding the Messiah’s gospel would any of her inhabitants find a blessing (read Acts 3:24-26). Note here the longing of God and the freewill of man. God desires the salvation of all (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Yet, without a willing heart to receive God’s word and follow His will, the lost person will not be saved. Responsibility for the desolation of Jerusalem, applied by the Roman army in A.D. 70, fell squarely on the shoulders of its rebellious citizens. If we refuse God and the salvation He offers us, we are responsible for our own demise. Why not rather turn to Christ, receive His word, obey His will and be saved?