CHAPTER XII. PROPHECIES OF THE MOUNT - THE FIRST COMING IN JUDGMENT TO JERUSALEM
We now come to a new and distinct group of "OLIVET Memories." They embrace a striking series of prophecies and parables, uttered in succession on the same occasion, beginning with the prediction of the impending doom of Jerusalem, and ending with that magnificent scene of the last universal assize, -- the great Shepherd of mankind seated on His Judgment-throne, dividing the sheep from the goats, and apportioning to each their final and irrevocable destiny. (1)
These impressive themes were spoken on the evening of the Tuesday -- the same day which had witnessed, at early morn, the withering of the fig-tree. The tears of Jesus the previous afternoon as He beheld the fated city; the parable uttered through the pretentious leaves of that dumb monitor and their subsequent blighting, reveal the one overmastering thought, which , almost to the exclusion of His own personal impending sufferings, filled the soul of the Divine Philanthropist. We need not wonder if, in the predictions and parables which are now to occupy our attention, we have to listen to the same plaintive monotone, and the same reiterated lesson of self-scrutiny, watchfulness, and diligence. (1)
1) This latter is omitted from the present volume, having been already treated by the writer in a recent work, "The Shepherd and His Flock."
"Fair as the moon," ..... "and terrible as an army with banners." (Sol. Song, vi. 10). For here the 10th Roman Legion under Titus had their fortified camp, and closed in mortal combat with the Jews near to Gethsemane. (It is recorded that the ground was soaked with blood -- "His blood be upon us and our children") - (p. 17)
"Christ was that true SHEKINAH PRESENCE." (p. 110)
"The old Pharisee creed she held in common with her educated Jewish friends, as to a common resurrection at the Last Day, had been supplanted by a grander and more elevating verity -- that believing in Christ, a present life was imparted that could never die, (John xi. 25, 26)
"Death (what we call death) is the mere suspension, or temporary "taking to pieces" of the bodily organism -- not the extinction of the true and nobler being. "Whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
"the most solemn period of responsibility to the Jewish people, was when Jesus was in their midst. It was "that generation" - the generation who had rejected HIM - who were most guiltily culpable." (p. 191)
A third cause of the tears which Jesus wept on the ridge of OLIVET, was, the thought of the future temporal retribution that would fall on the Jewish nation.
The details of this we shall reserve for a future chapter. Meanwhile, be it enough to observe, that, as He looked down from these heights on tower and Temple beneath, His omniscient glance discerned, too truly, the eagles of Rome hastening to the scene of ruin; His ear listened to the tread of the hosts mustering to battle; He saw the flames bursting from the gates of the Temple, the Holy and beautiful House laid level with the ground -- a heap of smouldering ahses! More than this, He beheld the Jewish nation scattered and peeled. After the Roman ploughshare was driven up the steps of Zion, and her streets given over to the alien and the stranger, He saw thousands on thousands of the unhappy race scattered in every land like wrecks on a desert shore." (p. 192)