image source: http://www.perillos.com/endgame_3.html
Having Jesus around Jerusalem was the most uncomfortable thing that happened to the lives both of the Pharisees and the common people. Jesus’ coming was like a stone thrown into a still pound, a loud trumpet in a quiet afternoon or a wayward entering the President’s banquet. He disturbed the status quo – people were shocked, amazed and angry everywhere. A man born blind could now see. A woman bleeding for many years is now healed. Water is turned into wine. Evil spirits entered pigs’ bodies -throwing them off a cliff. A dead man is brought to life. If that wasn’t enough – He forgave man’s sin and said that He and the father are one.
The Jews only had two options – to believe in Him completely or to get rid of Him – but with everything He had already done, they couldn’t simply brush it off.
So despite everything good Jesus did – He was killed - because it was uncomfortable having him around. After all, “if they allowed him to go on like that, soon everyone would believe in him. Then the Roman army would come and destroy both their temple and their nation.” (John 11:48) Apparently, man’s nature to preserve himself is evident in this reason. They could not see the work of God because they are blinded by worldly matters.
Self-preservation in this context was the attempt of man to get rid of what he deemed a challenge to his comfortable state.
“WE WERE FINE WITHOUT JESUS. AND WE WILL BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM SO LET’S JUST GET RID OFF HIM ONCE AND FOR ALL.”
Even those who experienced Jesus’ love and compassion – those who witnessed the five loaves and two fish multiplied to feed them five thousand, those who drank the wine that Jesus made from water, those whose husbands, wives, children experienced healing – were all helpless in trying to stop the Pharisees.
In unison, they cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Got rid of him once and for all.
Little did the Jews know that at Jesus’ expense, He was using their self-preservation for their ultimate good. God chose from the very beginning to redeem the fallen mankind at the expense of Himself. He looked past their spits, their whips, their crowning him with thorns and their nailing him on the cross so that He could ultimately save them. While He was suffering, He had these people in mind – and the rest of us today. The cross is a reminder of that pursuit – the weight Jesus chose to carry, the instrument of His death so that He could save the lives of those who plotted it.
We are often blind to our weaknesses and we are finite beings who make mistakes. We are often like the Jews who were blind to what Jesus was trying to do. But every turn of events in our lives – be it a joyful, a sad, a painful one is God’s way of pursuing us - of making us know Him as He really is. He can turn everything around and make us a new person. What he did around 2000 years ago should impact our lives today. We can either reject Him or accept Him completely – but we can never ignore Him.
If we accept Him into our lives as Savior and Lord – yes our lives will never be the same – he can make us stop our vices and addictions, he can relocate us, will break our relationships, take away our jobs but we will experience a new one that will be far beyond our wildest imagination. If we reject or ignore Him, however, He will also reject and ignore us when judgment day comes.
If you want to accept Jesus into your life, pray this simple prayer of faith (it’s not the prayer that saves you; it is your faith – the prayer is just a guide)
“Dear Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and I receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be.”