– by Keith Wood
“Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed.” – Luke 23:20-23
The preacher in Hong Kong asked people to stand and decide if they wanted to follow Jesus as they sang a final song. Then he asked those who had made a decision to follow Jesus to come to the front of the stadium as thousands were leaving. It was such an important lesson – following Jesus often means going against the crowd. As we read our passage today pay special attention to the “crowd”.
How fickle people can be! Just a few days earlier Jesus had entered Jerusalem on a donkey to cheering crowds (John 12:12-17). But here in Luke 23: 20-23 the crowd kept shouting “crucify him, crucify him” .. with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed” How would you have reacted if you had been in the crowd? Conforming can have dangerous consequences!
Forgive us, when we follow the crowd because we are afraid to stand out and follow our conscience. Forgive us when we hide behind the crowd because we are afraid to show our face and speak up for what is right. Help us to walk with you Jesus through this day and serve the crowd, and shine for You. Amen.