LIVING HOPE

April 11, 2020

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2: 24

Imagine going from the height of popularity one day, to social outcast the next. The ego in most of us would want to push back against such public inconsistency and attempt to defend ourselves or our platform against any lies or half-truths spoken against our name. Can you imagine any public figure today choosing to stay silent in the face of unjust backlash? Well, Jesus did.

Upon arriving in Jerusalem before Passover, Jesus and His disciples were met by a huge crowd praising His name and shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11: 9). However, it would only be a few short days later when that same crowd would turn on Him. No longer shouting His praises, those same voices would call for His death. “’Crucify Him!’ they shouted” (Mark 15: 13).

It’s incredible to imagine the scene as Jesus, arrested, stands before Pilate. “’Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of?’ But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.” (Mark 15: 4-5).

Knowing His life was on the line, why would Jesus behave this way? Any normal person wouldn’t. But Jesus wasn’t just any normal person. He was God in human form, sent to earth for the sole purpose of redeeming mankind from their sin. Jesus knew that the eternal good far outweighed the temporary suffering He would endure; and His love for mankind was so great that no amount of persuasion or peer pressure was going to change His mind. This was God’s will. This was the greatness of God’s love.

As we celebrate Easter, take the time to really reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross. Reread the times Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection – Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22, Mark 8:31. Reflect on the crowds who shouted His praises one day and demanded His death the next. Imagine the feeling of crushed expectations and hopelessness the disciples must have felt watching events unfold as their fear eventually outgrew their faith. Remember how Jesus remained silent as he was accused, beaten, and nailed to the cross for each of us. And finally, remember how everything Jesus said came true: He died on the cross, only to rise again three days later – just as He predicted.

What a man! What a God! Put your trust in Him.