by Brittney Chan
Behold, the world has gone after Him.
Let’s be real, y’all: Jesus’s entry into the city of Jerusalem was simply triumphant. I really want you to feel the excitement of that moment. He rode through those dusty streets, on the back of a donkey, declaring who He was and fulfiling Old Testament prophecies at the same time! The place was congested with onlookers shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Praise erupted and the people proclaimed how “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9)
These were the same folks that could give first-person accounts of how He had raised the dead or healed the deaf and dumb. I would have loved to be in that crowd, with each person’s enthusiasm feeding off the others, celebrating Jesus Christ: our King. How cool would it have been to converse with someone who saw Lazarus when he walked out of the tomb he’d just been buried in?
I know that there’s a lot of things that took place this week, over 2,000 years ago; but as I study Easter this year, this is where I keep getting hung up. It’s one of the last places where the people of His day openly worshipped Jesus. They had an experience with Him that warranted an exuberant and contagious faith!
But these weren’t the only cast of characters in this scene. The church leaders of that era lurked in the shadows and the struggle was real for them. This was a point of recognition for the Pharisees: they understood that everything they’d attempted to do to stop Jesus’s influence had been ineffective. The scheming...the advising...the commands...the threats...had all been futile. Their jealousy spoke up as they demanded Jesus to rebuke His followers.
Their bitterness showed itself as they murmured, “Do you see how we’ve accomplished absolutely nothing?! The world has gone after Him!” (John 12:19)
What a statement! Christ’s opposition had realized their losses and were threatened by His success. These words were thrown out in a disrespectful rage, as if to say: “These people have abandoned all else to follow this lunatic!” The Gospel that Jesus preached endangered the Pharisees’ normal routines and challenged their authority. This complaint holds a negative connotation if it’s taken in the intended context, but what a compliment for a follower of Jesus Christ!
What do you think happens, today, when you ignore social norms and publicly praise Jesus for His active role in your life? Or when you are outspoken to coworkers in a way that tells them living for Jesus is satisfying to your soul? When you contest a classmate’s worldview by expressing your wholesome morals and values?
What happens when your spiritual adversary - in whatever form of temptation he assumes - comes to the same realization as the Pharisees? That [insert your name here] has gone after Him!
Despite the enemy’s efforts to persuade, coax, or influence you to disregard the truths you know about Jesus; you have still abandoned all else to follow after God.
Now, we know how the rest of the week plays out: I’m not trying to write a fluffy Easter-related article and act as if living for Jesus is nothing but roses. Your unshakable dedication to God might inspire a negative response from some of the people you cross paths with; but girl, that is okay. There is absolutely no shame in having unwavering faith in Him.
The crowd that followed Him worshipped Jesus for His miracles. In some aspects, their infatuations with Christ could be considered shallow.
At this point, they were more focused on what He’d done through His humanity than who He was by His Divinity.
But you and I have the privilege of being on the other side of Calvary. We understand that His most impressive act wasn’t in raising the dead or restoring the lame.
With all humility and love, He remained committed to His life’s purpose. He walked the cobble stones of the Via Dolorosa. He stood before the ones that wrongfully accused Him. He bore the abuse and was beaten for the Gospel’s sake. He carried the very cross that would ultimately result in His death. He stayed quiet when, at any moment, He could have called Heaven down to validate His claims.
And He did it all for you.
So yeah. Let them sneer and say: “She has gone after Him.”
It’s the least we can do.