What Crowd am I In? (A reflection of the Passion Narrative of John)

What crowd am I in this week? Holy Week shares Jesus’ march to His ultimate goal- redeeming the world through His death. It’s right to focus on Jesus, His passion, for you, for me. While considering the crowds of Holy Week, I think they help us see our sin and draw us ever closer to our need for a Savior.

The crowds that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem shouted “Hosanna!”  Messiah. King. Time to restore Jewish reign. No more Romans. Most who witnessed Jesus’ triumphal entry missed the real Jesus. They didn’t see a Redeemer who was there to  “save now” from sin because they missed that it was the promised one who was coming to save. I hope I see Jesus for who He is and don’t make Him something less than He is. He’s more than protector and king.  He is God alone who died for lowly me.

How am I part of the group that questioned the woman who anointed Jesus?  Do I miss that worship is about Jesus and not me? Oh that I can see with the same faith as the woman and see promises fulfilled through Jesus, that His death is what I need for life now and eternity! Her anointing of Jesus was a faith-filled confidence that Jesus was the Savior promised for us.

As the disciples were gathered for Passover, they wondered,  “Is it I?” when Jesus announced that a disciple would betray him. Can I see my own sin and realize that it IS I? I sent Jesus to the cross. I have betrayed him, too. I’ve hidden from opportunities to stand strong in faith. I’ve had my price as I’ve “given Jesus up” and it wasn’t thirty pieces of silver. What is my paltry price?  Appreciation? Acceptance? Avoidance of ridicule?  Lord have mercy on me, a poor miserable sinner.

Am I part of the crowd yelling “Crucify!” sending my own versions of insults and jeers? Surely not!  How could I be so blatant in my opposition to Christ?  Death to Christ?!  Selfishness. Defensiveness. Self-justification.  Oh, yes! I had a role in sending Jesus to the cross and hammering those nails.

How am I hiding in fear as the disciples did after Jesus death? While it’s obvious that Jesus is a man of His word and fulfilled the words of the prophets, His absence for three days left the disciples feeling alone, seemingly a target for opposition and trembling in fear. Am I fearful? Do I have confidence in the promises- I will not leave you, I will send the comforter?  Do I understand that God’s “little while” may often seem like a dark, long period of time but His “little while” is a blink in the vision of eternity?  

Am I thrilled beyond belief?  The disciples started hearing stories- stories of an empty tomb, of angels, of Jesus appearances. Do I hear the stories? Do I share the wonder of “Can it be?”  Am I seeing with eyes wide open my crucified and risen Lord?

This week, I DO have my eyes wide open! I see my sin, I see my desperation, I see I’m chief of sinners.  But I will hear Jesus. His words will be remembered and I will taste and see that He is good!

Christ’s death and punishment are for me…and I am forgiven

I will “take and eat” and at the very gate of heaven and be with the crowd of angels and all the company of heaven in sharing our Hosannas and Hallelujahs!

I’ll be reminded that God’s will is not done apart from Jesus. It’s done without my prayer, but it is surely done. Jesus has sealed my future. He left guilt and death in the grave. Thy will be done? Absolutely.

In Christ, I’m going to “feed His lambs” with knowledge to share about Jesus, the bread of life, the paschal lamb, the one who sustains.

I hope you’re part of a visible crowd this weekend…and that crowd being in church. God’s gifts are waiting there “for you.”

A blessed Holy Week everyone!