A line drawn in the sand.
Jesus raised Lazarus from death…gave him breath for his lungs, a second chance, and an opportunity to proclaim the miracle of life. John tells us in chapter 12:9-11 that large crowds of people came to see the living Lazarus for themselves. And because of his story of new life, many Jews put their faith in Jesus.
But…there were others who were not rejoicing. Their control, power and authority were threatened so “the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus.”
Translate that to what we continue to see…Jesus gives new life to His church of believers…and there will be those who seek to destroy it.
John goes on in verses 12-19, to tell us that Jesus left Bethany and headed to Jerusalem. The great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that He was on His way. They met Him waving palm branches as He rode in on a donkey…a humble animal of peace, an animal used to carry man’s heavy loads. This donkey was carrying a man who fit the same description…a humble man of peace who is willing to carry our heaviest burdens. This man promised, “Come to me, all of you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
I want that. I need that. I crave that.
Jesus was making a public statement. But His message was not what the crowd wanted to hear. They wanted a king who would wave his sword, a king who would defeat the Romans, a king who would establish Jewish rule. They wanted Jesus to fight for their agenda.
The crowd cried out, “Hosanna!” which means “Save now!” They got that part right. Jesus is the One sent to save, the One sent to rescue us from the penalty required because of our sin, the One sent to stand in our place so we can escape the holy, righteous judgment of our God.
Some in the crowd would trust Jesus as King of kings. They would submit to His agenda. Others would plan for His death. Regardless, Jesus moved forward, towards the cross, laying down His life for all.
There is a spiritual line drawn in the sand that cannot be straddled. For Him or against Him?
He is who He says He is. He did what He did for us because of His immeasurable love. It was the only way. Believe Him or deny Him…that’s the line drawn in the sand.
Questions to ponder:
What are my expectations of Jesus?
How do I respond when His answer is “Not yet”?
When do I demand my agenda and not trust His agenda?