Today's Devotional Thought
March 28, 2013 by Rachel Piferi
Hosanna to Crucify!
Has your life ever turned on a dime? I mean one minute everything is fabulous and the next minute everything is a mess. I bet Jesus felt that way in the short 5 days between Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
If you look at the Easter Story, it really starts with Palm Sunday. Jesus rides into Jerusalem and is greeted by the many people who were in awe of his miracles. Many of them had heard of his miraculous raising of Lazarus from the dead and they were eager to see him, praise him, and honor him. And as today's scripture says, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!'
Have you ever wondered why the crowds turned so quickly? How could they be praising him and yelling, Hosanna! on Sunday and then be yelling Crucify Him! on Friday? If you lived at that time, would you have been swept up by the crowds and changed as quickly as they did?
As I have studied this story, I am struck by two things. First, Scripture tells us that the crowds formed because they had heard of Jesus' miracles. They were awed by the impressive and awesome moments that Jesus has performed and they praised him for it.
And yet, when times got a little tough and dangerous later in the week, they fell away.
As I think about that I see how the awesome moments are not enough to sustain a true faith in Jesus. When things are exciting and powerful and miraculous, it is easy to praise the Lord. But, when things get mundane or hard, do we fall away?
If things aren't exciting anymore, but are real, do we scatter?
The second thing that strikes me is that the crowds who were merely awed by his miracles likely fell away because of fear in that moment where things got hard. As Jesus grew in popularity, the Pharisees and leaders began to fear his power and began to plot against him. And, they began to see anyone who supported him (especially those who supported him closely) as also dangerous to their political power. So, it quickly became clear, that being associated with Jesus was dangerous and people began to scatter. Even his dearest friends and disciples scattered.
Does your support of something or involvement in something change as the tide of public opinion changes?
Do you shout Hosanna on Sunday, but then crucify Jesus as the week goes on and life gets real?
We can learn from the crowds of the Easter story whose adoration of Jesus was so shallow that they abandoned it when it became unpopular or hard or dangerous. Do not let the tide of public opinion sway you from a faith and adoration of Jesus Christ. Do not let a hard situation keep you from fully obeying his commands. Do not betray your love for him just because it may be unpopular or uncomfortable or dangerous in your week.
We all can learn by the fickle crowd who had a shallow faith in Jesus. Don't live a shallow faith of following Jesus when it feels good. Don't sing Hosanna! one moment in one crowd and then Crucify Him! in a different moment with a different crowd. Build a deeper relationship. One based on more than just the miraculous moments and follow him to the cross.