“And following him were a vast multitude of people and women who were wailing and lamenting him.”
This is a group that we often forget about. Typically we think of the crowds going from the heights of celebration on Sunday when Jesus makes his triumphal entry to Friday when they cry crucify, and we think of the fickle character of the human heart. We see people swayed by the winds of popularity and that is a very true observation of human nature.
Yet, Luke records that there were more than a few who genuinely were sorry at the events of the day…in fact, it was enough people that he describes it as a “vast multitude.” And then the women (of whom, his mother was one) who were mourning and lamenting. The word that Luke uses to describe their mourning is κόπτω (kopto), which refers to one in anguish, even beating their chests as they cry out in sorrow — hysterics even, if one wishes to apply an older use of the term. What a sad site indeed.
The faithful often tend to be forgotten in the annals of men. Of course, faithfulness is that on which our God delights to look. And indeed, it is God’s response that we ought be most concerned about. How sad it is that we…and sometimes even church leaders… sometimes get that mixed up. And sometimes we get lost in the events of mankind that are taking place and miss the work that God is doing in the midst of things. Here it is easy to see the event, but the lamenting of the women remind us of the injustice that is really taking place…the suffering of the Lord of Life for sins he did not commit…but for sins that you committed…just as they are for sins that I committed as well.