I am reading "The Crown and the Fire: Meditations on the Cross and the Life of the Spirit" by N.T. Wright for this year's Lent period. Will try to post few sentences which impressed me the most from each chapter.
Chapter 5: "The King of the Jews"
I believe that Jesus loved His people. It grieved Him to see their
oppression, the poor all around Him getting poorer, one Jew turning
against another Jew, and both of them hating the Romans. He felt the
pain of seeing His fellow-Jews crushed under the pagan foot. He felt
keenly the hopes and ambitions of His people. He loved His people. he
loved Jerusalem. When He predicted its
destruction, He wasn't gloating. He was weeping. He would have loved to
have been able to be their David in the way they wanted - to kill the
giant, to set the people free. He has heard Jerusalem sang the sweet
song of liberty these many years, and He was so tempted to act. But He
was mastered by a deeper love, a love that saw that political
Messiahship would solve nothing.
So He hung there outside His
beloved Jerusalem. There, He looked on Jerusalem, loved her, through
obedient, dying eyes. The cross is His enthronement as the Messiah of
Israel, because there He finally does for Israel and the world what
Israel's Messiah had to do.
Merciful God, have mercy upon your
ancient people, the Jews, and upon all who have not known you. Take from
them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt for your word and
so fetch them to your fold, that they may be made one flock under one
shepherd: the same Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and King.