September 2, 2009

Crowd Pleaser?

Mark 15 wrecks me every time I read it. I don't know that you can be a follower of Christ and escape that. The pain He endured - the humiliation He suffered - the patience He exercised in not coming down from the Cross and silencing the mockers there & then. I seriously think there are days that we completely forget that this story - HIS story - is everything. EVERYTHING! If we leave this out - if we forget that it all begins there - what are we left with?

Jesus paid it all.

This morning as I was reading this story I was especially distracted by Pilate. This guy really had no idea what hit him. To say he was unprepared for this moment is an understatement. When the crowd begins shouting for Pilate to "Crucify him", giving their specific demand of what can be done with Jesus, his first response to them is "Why?". He even begs the mob to explain, "What crime has he committed?" But then - after one more angry wave and chorus of shouting rushed over him - Pilate became "anxious to please the crowd". And that's where I had to stop.

"...anxious to please the crowd."

We hate Pilate! We loathe him. We call him a coward and a spineless poser. But I guess I wonder, if I am ever deterred or phased or motivated by what others think - if I ever become "anxious to please the crowd" - how am I different from Pilate? And to go a step further we have to keep in mind, Pilate didn't know Christ. He had no idea that the Magnificent One, the King of ALL Kings, was standing next to him. He had never been asked or answered the question, "Who do you say that I am?" as Peter had. As James and John had. As I have.

Have you answered that question? Jesus asks the most important question in the history of the world: "Who do you say that I am?" Have you answered?

My answer is Peter's answer: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And if this is my answer - if this is your answer - may we never be found "anxious to please the crowd"! The only affirmation, attention, or applause we should ever be living for is from the One who has given us true life and set us free. May we be anxious to please Him!

Or Christ-follower.

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