The Altar Of Decision: Which Jesus Are You Following?
Monday Morning Commentary
Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end of the life of Jesus. One crowd made up their minds about Jesus. He is “the king who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38)! And so they’ve come out to exclaim praises to Him and usher Him into town with shouts of, “Hosanna!”
And yet, in a few days, others will demand His death. “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed” (Matthew 27:20).
Life is filled with choices. Every day, we make various choices. There is one fundamental question we must all answer because it holds eternal ramifications. Who is Jesus? And after we’ve answered that question, we must determine, am I following the real Jesus or am I following a Jesus of my imagination?
The crowd was able to be persuaded about Jesus because they had not come to realize who Jesus was. Therefore, they followed the Jesus who was most convenient to them at the moment.
It was a custom for a prisoner to be released during Passover. But it was not customary for the people to be offered the choice of allowing an innocent man to be handed over in a guilty man’s place. Pilate was “greatly amazed” (Matthew 11:14) at Jesus’s lack of fight. How was it possible for Jesus not to fight for His life? So, Pilate gives the crowd what they want. The Innocent for the guilty. The King for the prisoner. The Lamb for the murderer.
Jesus Christ is betrayed by Judas, rejected by Pilate, deserted by the people and humiliated by the soldiers. The suffering of the Son reveals God’s hatred of sin. To accept the sacrifice of His innocent Son proves God’s love for the sinner.
The story of Barabbas is our story. God chose to set us free. We were rebellious. We were sinful. We were guilty. God cried out for our release and the crucifixion of His own Son so that we could be reconciled to Him!
And now, every day, we must answer the question, “Who is Jesus”? If Jesus is just a source of success, you’ll only follow Him when you are successful. If Jesus is “good for business,” you’ll only follow Him when you’re prospering. If Jesus is just a “happy pill,” you’ll only follow Him when you feel good. If Jesus is just a life preserver when you’re sinking, you’ll only follow Him when you’re drowning.
But if Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God, the King of Kings, you will follow Him because He alone is worthy! He alone died my death. He alone took my place. He alone has the words of life. He alone deserves my praise. He alone deserves my obedience. My mind is made up! My heart is set! Jesus in Mine and I am His! I love Jesus because He is Jesus. And if He never does one more thing for me beyond the work of the cross, I will still follow Him. What Jesus has done for me is enough.