Over the past few weeks God has shown us: that none of us can have a Secret Identity – God knows everything about us – He knows if we are spiritually ready; that God, even in His frustration with His creation, continues to save humankind despite how often we spit in his face with our disobedience; and that one day the groom of 2nd chances and mercywill become the groom of judgment – He will return and those who are spiritually ready to meet Him will go with Him into eternity and those who use the excuse “I still got time!” will find that time has run out.
So honestly, God has been calling us to reflect on our lives this Easter season and compare them with the standards found in His Word. And there may be things in our lives, in our hearts that are wrong that we don’t even know they are wrong. We must read God’s Word, literally, in order to have it speak to us. The Bible shows us the good and the bad – it shows us everything that God desires to see lived out in His creation, you and me. Yet we cannot know it if we don’t read it and allow it to penetrate our souls.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” Hebrews 4: 12-13
God is saying to us, “Quit living in sin – quit rebelling against my commandments and seek my righteousness. Don’t do what the world accepts and tells you is okay. No, let your spirit and soul be revived by desiring more and more and more of me in your life. Be all that I have created you to be by living fully for me. And the only way to live fully for me is to be open with me, allowing me to refine you into the person I desire you to be.”
Well, today we’re going to be looking at what Jesus experienced the last week of His earthly life.
Just as the Super’s went from being “Super to Villain”, so did Jesus’ ministry.
John 12: 12-19 provides us a glimpse of the crowds shouting praises and placing palm branches in the path of Jesus as He is riding into Jerusalem on a donkey colt.
Jesus had done all these amazing miracles – miracles that people had seen, heard about, even experienced personally. And so as Jesus is entering Jerusalem for His last Hoorah, the people were saying, “Here comes our Super. Here comes our King who has saved the day. Here comes our Savior. We have nothing to fear. He will destroy our enemies. He will provide us with protection. He will bring us peace. Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Yet within less than a week, the thoughts and opinions of those hailing their Super – they changed.
Luke 23: 13-25 tells us of Jesus’ arrest and how Pilate has found Him to not be guilty, but the people no longer want Him as their king.
Here we have the same people who had been touched in some way by the miraculous of Jesus now crying “foul.” The same people who were laying out palm branches and yelling, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”, were now yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Get rid of Him! We don’t need this Super. We don’t need Him to be our King – Caesar is our king. We don’t need Him to save us from the Roman oppression. We don’t need Him to tell us that we need to repent. No, give us Barabbus! We don’t want a Super. We want someone just like us – someone that can blend in with us and no one would know any different. We don’t want God! We want a man!”
So if I could pull an application from today’s narrative on how Jesus went from Super to Villain it would be this: TRUST THE REAL JESUS.
What do I mean by that? You see if the Israelites had trusted the real Jesus, the one they heard teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven, the one they saw performing all the miracles, the one they literally touched, then they would have come to understand that Jesus didn’t come to establish His Kingdom on earth. He didn’t come to save them from the Roman oppression. Instead He came to provide them salvation – a way to Heaven and a way to live here on this earth in the midst of its oppression.
They didn’t get it: The real Jesus wasn’t about this world and their particular troubles. He was about God’s world and everyone’s troubles, both Jew and Gentile, man and woman, and yes, even child.
And if we don’t know the Real Jesus, then we won’t trust the Real Jesus. We’ll be just like the Israelites that one day cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” and the next day “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
The Real Jesus must be trusted to come live within us and work within us so that we will be ready; spiritually ready when He does come to establish His Kingdom on earth.
The Real Jesus isn’t on a cross. The Real Jesus isn’t in an Ark. The Real Jesus isn’t in a church or a temple.
No, the Real Jesus lives in people’s hearts – where He can impact them personally. The Real Jesus lives in people’s hearts – where He can be seen and can be experienced by others. The Real Jesus lives in people’s hearts – where He can be worshiped.
The people of Jesus’ day didn’t get Him because they wanted an external figure to lead them – they wanted a king sitting on a throne that would destroy their enemies. They wanted a Super.
But when Jesus didn’t give them what they wanted, He became a Villain who needed to be judged – a Villain who need to die.
Who is Jesus to you? Is He your Super, or is He your Villain? If He is your Super, then He should be trusted to live within you and to change you. If He is your Super, then He should become very evident in your life. If He is your Super, then you should be a Super too.