It’s hard to believe that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in triumph, and a short five days later, the crowd gathered before Pontus Pilate on Friday is screaming, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” How does that happen? Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever had someone you love and respect, and who had loved and respected you, suddenly turn on you? I have. I bet all of us have. It catches you by surprise, doesn’t it? Perhaps it should not. Romans 3:23 plainly states, “…everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
All of us are fallen, imperfect. Charles Spurgeon once said in a sermon, “He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it.” Meaning, if you expect imperfection in people, you will not be surprised when it appears.
When someone lets you down. When someone talks behind your back. When someone joins a crowd and shouts, “Crucify Him!” out of fear of standing alone and facing the consequences, do not let it make you bitter. We should almost expect it. God did. In Deuteronomy 31, God is talking to His friend Moses about his impending death. Verse 16 reads, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them.’”
God knew His chosen people would reject Him. That they would worship other imaginary gods. That they would break their promises. Nonetheless, He never stopped loving them, and would eventually send His Son to save them. They would crucify His Son, and yet, He would rise again. That has to be why Paul wrote in Romans 8:39, “No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
No matter what you do, God loves you, and if you repent, He will forgive you. After Jesus finished washing the disciple’s feet at the Passover meal, He said to them, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).
Likewise, no matter what someone has done to you, Jesus calls you and me to do as He has done. To follow His example. To love each other as He loved us. That means when someone calls for your crucifixion, we should respond, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” God will bless you for it, and you will show others who God is.
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