Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Luke 13:33–34)
It happens to many of us.
Maybe it’s happened to most of us.
We fear we’ve offended God so deeply that Jesus’ forgiveness doesn’t extend to us.
Maybe you’re locked in this fear right now.
Sometimes this fear arises from a sin we just can’t overcome, that we repeat over and over and over again. Other times it comes from a specific offense, an offense so shameful we can’t envision God forgiving it.
If such fears are haunting you from the past, or just started to oppress you now, listen to Jesus’ in Luke 13. Just as importantly, feel what Jesus’ said.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Jesus knows resident of Jerusalem are going to turn on Him. They’re going to scream for His blood. He’s going to horribly suffer and slowly die in the holy city. And how does Jesus’ respond?
With care and compassion, with grief for the people of Jerusalem.
If Jesus’ heart could break for those who would torture and kill Him, certainly His heart breaks for us in our sin.
All our sins.
Each of our sins.
No matter what the sin.
When Jesus said He came to forgive the sins of the world (John 3:16-17), He meant all sins by all people. No matter how we feel about our sins, God’s forgiveness for Christ’s sake stands. No matter how shameful the sin, God has forgiven it.
(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District-LCMS.)