As he [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it

and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, long before the Day you will wipe away our tears, you wept many of your own. You grieve the way we look for peace in all the wrong places, because lasting, deep peace can only be found in you.

The tears you shed coming into a clueless, powerless, godless Jerusalem, underscore the mercy of these words from the Apostle Paul:  “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 person, though for a good person 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” (Rom. 5:6-8).

Jesus, these words are just as true of us as first-century Israel. We too are self-seeking sinners for whom you gave your life (Rom. 5:10). The only reason we have peace with God is because of your finished work on our behalf. It wasn’t about us “turning over a new leaf.” We needed to become a whole new tree. We didn’t need a new start; we needed a new heart. We were dead when you gave us life. We are forever grateful.

We’d still be looking for peace everywhere else—in people and sex, money and power—if you hadn’t opened our eyes to see the depth of our need, and the riches of your grace. Easter is a celebration of you doing for us what we could never have done for ourselves.

We long for the Day when we’ll never again be tempted to look for peace, life, and joy anywhere else but in you, Jesus. Until that Day, we trust you to be our contentment and satisfaction, our righteousness and our inheritance. So very Amen we pray with gratitude and adoration, in your wonderful and merciful name.