Thursday, August 21, 2008
Go Against The Flow
Luke 19:36-40 Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of him, and as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done.
38 "God has given us a King!" they exulted. "Long live the King! Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!" 39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, "Sir, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!" 40 He replied, "If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!"
47 After that he taught daily in the Temple, but the chief priests and other religious leaders and the business community were trying to find some way to get rid of him. 48 But they could think of nothing, for he was a hero to the people--they hung on every word he said. Luke 19:47-48 (Living)
Luke 21:37-38 Every day Jesus went to the Temple to teach, and the crowds began gathering early in the morning to hear him. And each evening he returned to spend the night on the Mount of Olives.
Luke 22:1-2 And now the Passover celebration was drawing near--the Jewish festival when only bread made without yeast was used. 2 The chief priests and other religious leaders were actively plotting Jesus' murder, trying to find a way to kill him without starting a riot--a possibility they greatly feared.
Luke 23:13-23 Then Pilate called together the chief priests and other Jewish leaders, along with the people, 14 and announced his verdict: "You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt against the Roman government. I have examined him thoroughly on this point and find him innocent.15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us--nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 I will therefore have him scourged with leaded thongs and release him."
17 18, But now a mighty roar rose from the crowd as with one voice they shouted. "Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!" 19 (Barabbas was in prison for starting an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, for he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
22 Once more, for the third time, he demanded, "Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. I will therefore scourge him and let him go." 23 But they shouted louder and louder for Jesus' death, and their voices prevailed.
Jesus has been telling his disciples that he was going to Jerusalem to be killed and now as they approach Jerusalem they must be very confused because the crowds that had been fascinated and loved him was still coming out and singing and shouting praises to Him.
The Pharisees were afraid of the people’s reaction, they were always looking for a way to get rid of Him but they were afraid of the crowd’s reaction and the possibility of riots. Next up in this drama is Pilate but he sees a completely different crowd and just like the Pharisees were he also is afraid of the crowd for he could lose his power as ruler if he stood up for what is right (Mark 15:15).
The crowds were a problem through out the Old Testament think about the Israelites trying to cross the desert, Moses and Aaron put up with the unfaithful crowd. How about their efforts to take the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb were willing to stand against the crowd. The crowd was a problem for the prophets (Matthew 23:29-39). How about Rack, Shak and Benny when they stood up to King Nezzer when the rest of the nation obeyed his command to bow down and worship his idol (Daniel 3).
After Jesus died the crowd reversed again and “they went home in deep sorrow.” How the crowds can change and if you are attempting to follow the crowd you will face a crisis in what you believe when the tide changes and the crowd runs the other direction.
I will follow Christ instead of the crowd.
Lord help me to be faithful, to follow you even when it is not popular.