He died for me because I was his enemy

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. — Luke 19:41-42

Scotty Smith writes great prayers at Heavenward because they go deep. This week I particularly felt touched by this one, based on the verses above:

Dear Lord Jesus, everything about Holy Week reveals the depth of your compassion for sinful, broken people, just like me. The tears you wept coming into Jerusalem, even the anger you showed in driving the money-changers out of the temple… every encounter, parable and action gives staggering clarity to Paul’s words…

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).

Paul was writing about me, Jesus. I’m the powerless, ungodly sinner for whom you died, demonstrating God’s incomparable and irrepressible love for me. I was God’s enemy when you reconciled me to him through your death on the cross (Rom. 5:9). May I never believe otherwise.

I would still be blind to what, alone, brings me peace if you hadn’t opened my eyes to see my need of you and your death for me. The gospel would still remain hidden from my eyes unless you had given me sight to behold you as the Lamb of God that takes away my sin. I can’t and I won’t sneer at a single Pharisee, Sadducee, priest or teacher of the law… or anyone else, who tried to trick or trap you during Holy Week. I am just as worthy of judgment as they.

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