Brief Description of Station 9 and the reason why the secondary images are included
Station 9 – Daughters of Jerusalem (Lk 23:27-31)
a. The fall of Judah to Babylon (Jer 16:1-13; 2 Kings 24:10-25:21)
b. Ruth and Naomi – two faithful women in hard times (Ruth 1)
Reason – Jeremiah warns that Jerusalem would fall to the Babylonians because the people had forsaken God, and Jesus warns these ladies that Jerusalem would fall because they also have forsaken God. In both situations the calamity would be great.
Ruth and Naomi were two faithful women during hard times, as these women are faithful during a very bleak hour.
The funny man stood on the side of a busy street. On him hung a large sign that said, “The End is Near”. People walked by. No one gave him any serious consideration. No one ever does want to listen to such messages of impending doom, of impending judgment.
So Jesus, trudging up the long way to his death, was confronted by faithful woman who were crying. Their Lord was to be crucified. Their hope was going to be killed. But Jesus knew this wasn’t the end. Not really. So he encouraged the ladies to remain steadfast, even though times would be getting even bleaker. The days would be coming when the very city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. The destruction of the city would be a foreshadowing of the destruction of the world when Christ returns, but that would not be for centuries. The destruction of Jerusalem for rejecting Jesus would have to serve as a lesson for all who reject God, reject his Messiah.
Indeed, one may view all tribulations as warnings that we should trust in Christ. In the world, we do not have a lasting peace. Everything comes to and end. The Northern Kingdom thought that they were safe, that Israel would endure forever. The Babylonians were used by God to teach them that in this world we have no permanent home. But Christ will return. The things temporal will be gone. The things eternal will stand.
Consider the story in Ruth. There was a famine in the land. Naomi had to leave with her husband and sons to live in Moab. There, in that foreign land, all the men died. Ruth was left with her two daughters-in-law. When Naomi determined to return home, only Ruth chose to return with her. The times were certainly hard for these two ladies, but the hardship did not separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus. They remained faithful.
Going through life, we may see many things that remind us of the end. Certainly wars would be included in that list. But we might also think of personal hardship brought on by economic collapse or droughts or whatever. Only those who face the End with faith in Christ will overcome and enter heaven.
Maybe the man with the sign is funny. Maybe he is the butt of many jokes. But, in the final analysis, he is right. The end is near. Christ will return.
O Lord Jesus, may we be numbered among those who are faithful to you no matter what this life may hold for us, that we may stand before you on the Last Day, marked as believers in you. Amen.