Were You There? Part 2

The Compromise of the Crowd

How confused Pilate must have been.  This crowd was recently yelling, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem.  And now, they stand before Pilate yelling, “We want Barabbas” in exchange for the death of Jesus.  They have quickly changed their minds about Jesus as they yell, “Crucify Him”.  How does a group of people turn on someone so quickly?  Mark 15:11 states the chief priests and religious leaders were standing among the people, stirring them up.

Can a crowd be influenced so easily?  Is it possible that we can become so fickle and lose our sensibilities by the powerful influence of the crowd?   By the influence of the crowd, man and woman can toss aside their belief system, their sense of reasoning,their upbringing, their compassion for others.

Were you there?

Did you hear the religious leaders compelling the crowd to lean a certain way?  Did you get caught up in the emotion and the exciting energy of the crowd?  Did you feel uncomfortable for a moment and think, “Wait, this isn’t right”, but continue on?

Did the crowd grip you?  Did you give in to its influence?

Were you there?

Did you laugh at crude jokes, follow a popular political opinion or just repeat “OMG” in vain?  After all, everyone else in the crowd is doing it.  The talk show leaders and celebrity voices are stirring up the masses.

Or did you pull away?  Is it possible to stand in a crowd, turn off the noise of its cheering, and only hear the voice of Truth?    Is it possible to listen to the compelling philosophies without bending to their enchanting influence?

By losing ourselves in the crowd, we often lose our personal responsibility for our actions.   But the truth is; each day we stand alone before Jesus.   The One who chose to bear our sin on the cross, is the One who requires each one of us to decide what we will do with Him.

Will you continue to follow the crowd, being pulled by its emotional highs and lows?  Or will you decide to find out who Jesus really is?  Will you take up your cross and follow Him?  This Easter, pull yourself away from the crowd and follow Jesus to the cross.

“You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart”, a promise from God found in Jeremiah 29:13.

Dear Jesus, I desire to hear only Your voice, and be faithful to Your words, whether or not the crowd agrees.  You chose to take on my sin and my shame at the cross.  My heart is grateful for the price You paid.  Though few go with me Jesus, still I choose to follow You.

Matthew 21:1-10; John 18:40; John 19

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Were you There? Part 1

The False Comfort of Compromise

He told Peter he would deny Him three times before the rooster would crow again.  Peter was in disbelief, he thrived on being one of Jesus’ disciples, “I will lay down my life for you”.

Jesus was spending His last moments of freedom with the disciples in the garden.  He was not surprised when Judas, the servants and officers came to take Him away.

Peter, in all of his passion for Jesus,  tried to defend Him by cutting off a soldier’s ear.

Were you there?

Guards and officers brought Jesus into the court to be questioned.  They were looking for a reason to put Him to death.  Peter followed behind.

A servant girl recognized Peter,  “Are you one of the man’s disciples?”  She was no threat to him, but he answered, “I am not”.

There he stood, warming his hands at the fire with the very soldiers who arrested his Master.

The soldiers also recognized Peter.  “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?”

“No”, he denied a second and then a third time.

The rooster crowed a second and a third time.

Peter broke down and wept.

Were you there?

Did you warm your hands by the fire of compromise?

Trying to blend in, you didn’t want to appear intolerant or narrow-minded.  You feared for your position or even your safety.  So you stood quietly among the nay-sayers.

Although you settled for the warmth of fitting in, it was only temporary.  Once you were able to pull yourself away from the situation, in the quiet moments, you became grieved.

In the quiet, the Holy Spirit reminds you what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  Deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him.

This Easter season, are you willing to leave the warmth of the fire, and follow Jesus to the cross?

John 13:37,38; John 18:10-27; Mark 14:72

Dear Jesus, You gave Yourself up for me in the garden.  Like Peter, I am passionate about being with You.  But like Peter, I also compromise.  Please forgive me.  I desire to take up my cross in my daily life and follow after You.  In these days before Easter celebration, please lead me to Your cross.

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