Monday, April 18, 2011

When the Cheering Stopped

John 12:17-19 (Msg) The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. [18] It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. [19] The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: "It's out of control. The world's in a stampede after him."

If Gallop, Barna, or Harris had taken a poll, Jesus would have been proclaimed king in a landslide that Palm Sunday, as even his enemies admitted that His popularity was at an all time high. People thronged to see Him enter Jerusalem.

But within a few days, people in Jerusalem were crying for Him to be executed as a criminal.

And so He was.

How did Jesus handle not just a change in popularity, but intense rejection?

How can we learn from what He did?

No, we'll never enter Jerusalem at the head of thousands of our followers. But we enjoy being praised, and we like being liked.

What happens to our convictions when we aren't?

What principle can we look at to guide our way?

What did Jesus do?

John 12:27-28 (Msg)
"Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? 'Father, get me out of this'? No, this is why I came in the first place. [28] I'll say, 'Father, put your glory on display.' "

Knowing that this celebration would end, and that the week would find Him bruised, battered, and crucified, Jesus looked not to His circumstances for direction, but to God. It was God's will that He used like a homing beacon. It was His passion to please God and glorify His name that kept Him going.

What are you here for?

Glorifying God. That's why you were placed here in the first place.

Is God in first place within your life?

Take this week and use it to redirect your focus off the things of this life. Use the lens of Jesus' Passion Week to help you push toward deeper things - toward God. People aren't going to always be cheering your efforts, you know.

But God will.

And in the end, isn't that what matters most?

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