Countdown to the End of the World: What did Jesus Prophesy on His Way to Golgotha?
by Steve Sterling 12/07/2011 / Prophecy
While the countdown of end of the world events in the 24th chapter of Matthew is the most significant prophecy in the gospels, there is a prophecy in the book of Luke that is worth a great deal of contemplation. This prophecy was uttered by Christ on His way to be crucified and can only found in the book of Luke. In His response to the tears of the women who were bewailing His death sentence, Jesus made the following statement:
"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." Lk 23:28-30
This prophetic declaration coming from Jesus portends dark days to come upon the city of Jerusalem. It will be a time of great distress that is to affect the women with children more than the ones without. Thus, in the time of adversity, the contrast between the mothers and the childless will be so pronounced that those who are barren and didn't bare a child will be considered blessed. But why will this be so? How will this prophecy be fulfilled?
The only incident that I can point to that resembles this particular prediction is the grim situation that was precipitated by the siege of Jerusalem. From the crest of Olivet Christ warned His disciples of the impending destruction of the city and the need for them to get out before this event occurs. He told them that when they see Jerusalem surrounded by Roman armies then they will know that its desolation is nigh.
The Jewish nation was so unfortunate to be out of food when they were surrounded by Roman soldiers. Usually, they would have enough food in the city to last them for several years but because of factional infighting most the food supply was maliciously destroyed, exposing the city to dire starvation. Once the armies surround the city, nobody could venture outside except at the peril of their lives, and no food supply was allowed to go in. The inhabitants of the once holy city must either surrender to the Roman authorities or suffer the pangs of hunger.
As the horrors of starvation begin to set in, the people resorted to desperate measures to satisfy their hunger. They ate some of the most inedible things you can think of and this is where the prophecy of Christ was realized; among the things that were being eaten, the mothers, especially, resorted to an article of food that demonstrated their utter depravity and the extent to which they have descended to outright cannibalism. Would you believe that during the siege of Jerusalem, the women, in their desperate search for things to eat, decided to make a meal of their own babies!?
This level of wickedness on the part of the women of Jerusalem to their young was thus foretold by the prophet Jeremiah in the book of Lamentation:
"The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people. The Lord hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof." Lam. 4:10
After Jesus declared what will be the lot of the women of Jerusalem, He then went on the say how they will respond to the calamity that is to befall them in the future. According the forecast, they will beg the mountains to fall on them, and the hills to cover them. I did a search of the scriptures to find out which of the prophecies that Christ was quoting from. What I discovered is that while I found references to sinners calling for the mountains to fall on them, it is interesting that none of them are associated with what Christ had prophesied concerning the women of Jerusalem.
Among the pertinent references that bear any similarity to what Jesus mentioned in His prediction, I found one in Hosea 10:8 and another in Revelation 6:13-18. What I notice about these scripture passages is that they are actually describing the manner in which sinners respond when they are seized with a strong sense of conviction and condemnation. This particular sentence in Luke 23 is no different from any situation that characterizes the response of hardened sinners who are overcome by a deep sense of guilt.
This was the experience of the inhabitants of Jerusalem who have rejected the gospel of salvation and its Author. Bellowing under the weight and enormity of their own guilt, they entreated the hills to cover them. In their desperate attempt to escape recompense, they would rather be crushed by the rocks of the mountains than to face divine justice.
In the countdown of end-of-the-world events in Revelation 6, you will see a similar scenario in connection to the opening of the sixth seal. As the forces of nature seemed out of control, the inhabitants of the earth will run to the rocks and in a similar way beg the mountains to fall on them. This is how a guilty conscience responds when it is seized by conviction, and from what I have consistently seen in the scriptures, this kind of response is usually associated with people who are so hardened in sin that they are incapable of repentance. So it was in Jerusalem, so it will be in the end of the world.