Jewish women wept as Jesus was led to the place of his crucifixion. Some suppose Jesus was referring to the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, and related events of 70 AD, when he said to the women of Jerusalem, "Don't weep for me, weep for yourselves!" But his comments were really for all generations, and not only for Jews.
Jesus foretold a time of trouble and grief, when women with children would wish they had none. Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." [Luke 23:27-30]
Livermore's commentary says: "This passage, filled with inimitable pathos and sublimity, is found only in Luke. Our Saviour evidently refers here to the impending calamities of Jerusalem - 'Fall on us', &c. Rev. vi, 16. Vivid imagery, to express that death would be preferable to life." [The Four Gospels: With a Commentary, By Abiel Abbot Livermore, 1844. p. 172]
Some say it was fulfilled in some way during the siege of Jerusalem, when people sought refuge in the caves and sewers under the city. But who really says this to the mountains and hills? No one says that! Not literally, and no normal person talks to mountains and hills. The mountains, hills, and rocks have no ears! I don't think people were saying: "fall on us!" to the mountains and hills, during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans. This saying of Jesus was a prophecy, a metaphor. It is quoted from Hosea 6:10, and it is also mentioned in Revelation 6:15-17.
In Revelation, John shows that not only the women of Jerusalem, and the Jews, but all the men of the earth, from the least to the greatest, hide themselves in the dens and caves of the mountains, and call on the rocks to 'fall on them', and ask the hills to cover them!
Interpreting this prophecy, the mountains and hills of Israel were part of the land that God promised Abraham, and so 'mountains' represent the promises of God, that believers inherit through faith in Jesus Christ, which includes the promise of eternal life! Men and women hiding themselves in the dens of the mountains pictures people seeking salvation. They want to be there. As the song says, "Oh when the saints... go marching in... I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in!"
People don't want to get killed, they want to be "saved", and "covered" by the promise of God to His saints! Many have their children baptized; Jews have their male babies circumcised, and many Muslim male babies are named Mohammad. People attend a church, or a synagogue, or a mosque, but even if they don't, they usually retain their religious affiliation or label. Few are atheists. Some even get buried near a church, or synagogue. For centuries, Jews have buried their dead on the Mount of Olives, expecting some benefit at the resurrection. Most people accept the faith they were born into, fearing the consequences of not doing so, and the judgment to come.
By his death, Jesus provided the solution to the problem of death for those who come to him. Paul wrote, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." [Romans 5:8-9]
Jesus referred to himself as the good shepherd, who gives his life for the sheep. He said, "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber... I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." [John 10:1 & 9]
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