On the way to Mass this past Palm Sunday my 12-year-old daughter caught me off guard with a rather direct statement. She said, “Man, the Jewish people were hypocrites back in Jesus’ day.” After a few seconds of awkward silence I replied, “Why do you say that?”
She then went on to say that at least some of these Jewish people went from singing Hosanna in the Highest! to Crucify Him! a few days later.
Now, I’d like to say I had some incredibly rich, theologically sound, response. But, alas, I didn’t. Instead I just sat there and wondered what I would have done had I been part of the same “crowd” back then.
Of course we have no idea of knowing exactly how many of the “Crucify Him!” crowd were also singing “Hosanna!” a few days earlier. But, I do think it’s safe to say Jesus caused some eyebrows to rise shortly after arriving in Jerusalem. I mean he immediately went and turned tables over in the Temple and got pretty upset with the “money changers.”
I also think it’s safe to say the Jewish people expected Jesus to assert His political authority over their city once He got settled and when they realized this wasn’t going to happen the buzz around our Lord seemed to simmer.
And then, as we all know, the hostile, blood thirsty, crowd eventually laughed and mocked our Lord as they demanded a known criminal be released instead of our Lord. Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
Of course, the convenient response to this story is to shake our heads in disgust and disappointment at the way the crowd turned their back on our Lord. You know… because we’d never do anything like that, right?
The fact of the matter is, if we’re being honest, we’re all far more like the Crucify Him crowd than we want to admit.
We’re full of laziness and excuses (spiritually and physically). We often choose to sin far more than we should. And, when it comes down to it, any sacrificial aspects of our spiritual lives pretty much stop at the end of Lent each year (if not a week or so into Lent).
Plus, He’s about to rise which means it’ll soon be time to get our drinky drink on while also getting our pancreas back in the game with a nice overdose of sugar and junk food, right?
Look, I’m so far from perfect it’s not even funny. I’m as weak as anyone reading this. But one thing I’m not is unaware of my issues.
I know I need to continue to be more disciplined with my spiritual life. I know I need to be more disciplined with my diet and workouts. And I know, for sure, that if I stop practicing all forms of asceticism weakness, sloth, and sin will slowly consume me like it did for so many years of my adult life.
What about you? Are you living the life God wants you to? And if you sang Hosanna in the Highest this past Palm Sunday how will you ensure your encore isn’t Crucify Him once Easter Sunday has come and gone?
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!