Which Crowd?

 

 "The next day the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city, A huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet Him. They shouted, 'Praise God! Bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!' " John 12:12-13...."And Pilate said to the people, 'Here is your king!' 'Away with Him,' they yelled. 'Away with Him - crucify Him!' " John 19:14-15....."Judas. the one who would betray Him, also asked, 'Teacher, I'm not the one, am I?' " Matthew 26:25......"There are two wills; 'Thy will,' and 'I will.'....When our will rises up against His will, we crucify Christ anew." Wade Taylor

 

Two crowds and one individual. That's what we see in the above scriptures. What part of ourselves do we see in them? What part of ourselves do we see in Wade Taylor's quotes? I remember a number of years ago making a statement during a teaching session that every one of us was capable of being in the crowd that cried out for Pilate to crucify Christ. A lady present responded with a look of total shock and unbelief. I could tell that she did not believe she would ever have been a part of that crowd. Some years later she left her husband for no greater reason than she did not love him nor respect him. She refused any attempt at reconciliation. What do you think the Father's will in all of that was? How did her actions not fall into what Taylor said about "crucifying Christ anew?" Didn't her will rise up against His? Let's get the spotlight off her and onto us. Where in our lives has our will risen up against His? Where might it be rising up against Him right now?

It is so easy to see ourselves among the crowd shouting "Hosanna" as He enters Jerusalem. "Praise the Lord, the King has come!" would surely be upon our lips. We are so ready to welcome Him when He comes in our pre-approved ways. We're eager to get in on the celebration. We like celebrations. What happens though when He comes in ways that we have not pre-approved? What's the result when He commands a very hard thing of us? What is the result when He requires that we forsake everything,everything, in order that we would follow Him. And follow Him to places and situations that we neither know anything about, or that our flesh would seek to run from if we did? What happens when He says His will is the only option, unless of course we choose to disobey? What is really happening when our will rises up against His? Have we not slipped away from the crowd shouting the loud "Hosanna's" to the one shouting even more loudly, "Crucify Him!" Sinful rebellion put Him on the cross then. What will be the result of our rebellion now?

 

The lady mentioned above was not an "evil" lady as we would define evil. She certainly saw herself as only ever being a part of the Hosanna crowd. Yet in a crisis moment of whether she would obey Her Lord or not, she chose "not." Her will rose up against His, and destruction and sorrow was the result for all. And no heart was more grieved than His. She moved from one crowd to another, but did not see it as such. Neither did Judas. Only Jesus knows fully what was in his heart, but it would seem that right up to the moment he betrayed Him, Judas did not see his actions as such. Many scholars believe he thought he was choosing a better way for Christ to enter into the fullness of His being Messiah than the one chosen by God. How often and in how many ways have we thought the same when it came to, comes to the unfolding of His will in our lives, families, affairs, and ministries?
How often have we asked "Lord, I'm not the one, am I?" Where might Judas be lurking in our hearts today? How easily might we change crowds?

Two crowds are shown here, and I think too many of us find it very easy to slip in and out of both. But there is third crowd, much smaller than either. This is the crowd that doesn't depend on emotion, and neither does it debate its obedience. That question has been settled. That choice and surrender has been made. It will celebrate His coming and His leading regardless of where He may lead. Even as it surely leads to our own Calvary. That's the crowd my heart longs to be with. How about you? I want to be in and with the crowd that lives in and goes with the Lamb. One way or another, we'll all be part of some crowd. What crowd are we part of?

Blessings,
Pastor O


 

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