It is much easier to see truth looking back over history than looking forward in the middle of it. Throughout history many groups of people have rallied around what they thought were noble clauses but in the end were proven false. German families stirred by nationalistic pride rallied behind genocide. Christians have murdered one another, Muslims, innocent women, and others all in the name of Christ. Looking back over history it is self evident that we as human beings have a murderous tendency when we rally in mass.
Over the past two weeks we have looked at the primary characters leading to the death of Jesus. From Judas to Pilate to Peter we have seen how we fit into the story of Jesus’ death. This coming Sunday morning we will look at the people of Jerusalem and how they were given a chance to free Jesus. Jesus was brought to them, and they chose to send him to the cross. Interestingly enough, at the moment that Jesus life was offered to them, they swore allegiance to Caesar, an act of worship in that time, and denied Christ.
I wonder where we would have stood that day? What would we have yelled? I am a conservative person; I tend to trust the authority over me. I wonder, knowing that I would have respected the priests above me, if I would have yelled “Crucify Him”? I wonder if I would have kept the party line, afraid of the implications of taking a stand, and simply remained silent?
I know this, scripture tells us that the crowd ultimately condemned Jesus to the cross.
Jesus did not send fire from heaven down on the crowd. He did not yell condemnations on them. In the moment that Jesus was presented to crowd, bloody, beaten and condemned to death, he chose to walk to the cross to die for the very people who condemned him. He walked to the cross to die for you and for me. We are the crowd, we are the betrayers, we are the people who put Jesus on the cross. In this we are condemned by our sin and rebellion. In this Jesus died taking the punishment for our murderous ways and giving us his perfect sinless righteous life.