But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Romans 5:8
As Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on what we know as Palm Sunday, He looked at the city and wept. In the original language, the word used to describe His weeping speaks of bitter anguish, as though one were mourning the dead.
Jesus cried because He knew what was coming. His ministry was almost over. The time was short. And by and large, He had been rejected. He had healed their sick. He had raised their dead. He had cleansed their lepers. He had fed their hungry and forgave their sins. But He remained mostly alone and rejected.
He also knew one of His own, Judas Iscariot, was about to betray Him. Judas was a friend of Jesus'. That is why it was a betrayal. Jesus knew that Caiaphas, the high priest, would try Him on false charges. Jesus knew that He would be sent to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and ultimately be sentenced to die on the cross. He knew the people who were crying, "Hosanna!" that day would turn against Him. And it broke His heart. Jesus knew they would face the repercussions for their sin, and He didn't want that.
However, God will not force His forgiveness down anyone's throat.
I know people who have made wrong decisions in life, despite being warned by their pastor or Christian friends not to do a certain thing. And later they come back and say, "Oh, I should have listened to you!" And I wish they had.
God will not violate our free will. God will not make us believe. God will not make us love Him. If we don't want to, we don't have to. But that is what is so amazing. God, having foreknowledge, still loves us and still extends his grace to us.
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