Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 05 Fickle Fame—Fickle Followers???
I want to share some food for thought in regard to the “passion” week of our Lord, particularly the four short days between Palm Sunday and the taking of our Lord.
“And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them,
Go into the village over against you,
and straightway ye shall find an ass tied,
and a colt with her:
and bring them unto me.
3 And if any man say ought unto you,
ye shall say,
The Lord hath need of them;
and straightway he will send them.
4 All this was done,
that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion,
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee,
meek, and sitting upon an ass,
and a colt the foal of an ass.
6 And the disciples went,
and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the ass,
and the colt,
and put on them their clothes,
and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude
spread their garments in the way;
cut down branches from the trees,
and strawed them in the way.
9 And the multitudes
that went before,
and that followed,
Hosanna to the Son of David:
Blessed is he that cometh
in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem,
all the city was moved, saying,
Who is this?
11 And the multitude said,
This is Jesus
the prophet of Nazareth
of Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11
Here we have Jesus coming into Jerusalem on this amazing Sunday for, as the Gospels record repeatedly, His “time had come” to be the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for our sin. As Paul and John each put it, He IS the “propitiation” for our sin!
Propitiation: conciliation; or the means by which atonement or reparation (the making of amends for wrong or injury done) is made—the payment in full for the “wages of sin” which “is death”…
The work that Jesus was going to accomplish at Calvary!
“Being justified freely
by his grace
through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth
to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness
for the remission of sins
that are past,
through the forbearance
26 To declare, I say,
at this time
that he might be just,
and the justifier
of him which believeth
in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26
“My little children,
these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not.
And if any man sin,
we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation
for our sins:
and not for ours only,
but also for the sins
of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
“In this was manifested the love of God
because that God sent his only begotten Son
into the world,
that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love,
not that we loved God,
but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the propitiation
for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
It amazes me that so many today are in the same boat as those people long ago who actually encountered Jesus in person. Yet we so often become discouraged and distraught when we encounter opposition and flighty people; or we give in to the philosophy of compromise which says we must make the “Gospel” palatable to the masses! Yet, it seems to me that Jesus was so “unpalatable” to the masses that they killed HIM! Yet Jesus Himself told us that it would be this way—so, we must choose to follow Him even when we receive fickle responses to our faithfulness to God and His Word, or cave to the demands for compromise on every hand!
“These things I command you,
that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you,
ye know that it hated me
before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world,
the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you
for my name’s sake,
because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them,
they had not had sin:
but now they have no cloke
for their sin.
23 He that hateth me
hateth my Father also.” John 15:17-23
As we look at the account above recording the four days from the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem, how did people change from praising and lauding this very Son of God, to crying “crucify Him…crucify Him”?
“Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
16 And they had then a notable prisoner,
17 Therefore when they were gathered together,
Pilate said unto them,
Whom will ye that I release unto you?
which is called Christ?
18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
19 When he was set down on the judgment seat,
his wife sent unto him, saying,
Have thou nothing to do with that just man:
for I have suffered many things this day
in a dream because of him.
20 But the chief priests and elders
persuaded the multitude
that they should ask Barabbas,
and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said unto them,
Whether of the twain will ye that I release
They said, Barabbas.
22 Pilate saith unto them,
What shall I do then with Jesus
which is called Christ?
They all say unto him,
Let him be crucified.
23 And the governor said,
what evil hath he done?
But they cried out the more, saying,
Let him be crucified.
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing,
but that rather a tumult was made,
he took water,
and washed his hands before the multitude, saying,
I am innocent of the blood
of this just person:
see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said,
His blood be on us,
and on our children.” Matthew 27:15-25
So, I challenge each of us to be sure that we are using The Word of God as our standard and not the reactions, polls, and popular opinions of the world. Many will ‘say’ they are friends of Jesus, but then balk at biblical ‘Christians’, biblical ‘morality’ and the desire to live biblically. We must be ready to stand on The Word—but to stand on it, we must know it!
“I charge thee therefore
and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall judge the quick and the dead
at his appearing
and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word;
be instant in season,
out of season;
with all longsuffering
3 For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears
from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4
The choice is yours and mine; will we speak, preach, teach, share the truth “in season, out of season” as we have opportunity? Will we hold to “sound doctrine” or compromise truth to popular demand? Will we be those who change from “hosanna” to “crucify HIM”; or will we “stand fast in the evil day”! My dear friends—truth is our only hope; and Jesus IS that truth; both the living hope, the written hope and the crucified, buried, and RISEN hope! The risen Lord who IS OUR HOPE!!! We ought never to be the “fickle” flock—but those who are faithfully following our Lord and sharing HIS truth, even when our closest family and friends oppose us!
“But speak thou the things
which become sound doctrine:” Titus 2:1
To God be the glory—great things HE has done, is doing, and will ever do. Open your ears and eyes and let God use YOU today—YOU may change someone’s life forever!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead,
4 To an inheritance
and that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God
unto salvation ready to be revealed
in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5