Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves ...
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Have you ever noticed that there was "a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him"? Sometimes we focus so much on the crowds who yelled "crucify him" and those who mocked him while on he hung on the cross that we forget these who were moved deeply by the sight of his beaten body. I cannot imagine how horrifying it must have been to see the one who they called Teacher beaten to a pulp and unable to carry the cross.
Jesus' response to their tears is so telling. In deep physical pain, and on his way to a horrible death, he speaks prophetically to them about their own humanity. He seems be teaching them about the difference between weeping on the outside and weeping on the inside. He instructs those who were outwardly moved to tears to turn their tears inside for a culture that would mistreat a fellow human being the way that the religious and secular leaders mistreated him.
Help my tears reflect a lasting inner repentance Lord.