The People in Jerusalem – Faces Surrounding Calvary

William J. Stewart | Face Surrounding Calvary

Over the next number of weeks, we will spend some time looking at the “Faces Surrounding Calvary”. There are many individuals whose actions (or lack of), attitudes, and words are worthy of our attention. We will learn more about the people of that day, about the crucifying of our Lord, and Lord willing, more about ourselves. As we go through this series of articles, place yourself in a front row seat to the events we discuss, for in so doing, you will receive the greatest benefit.

He Is Our King

The people of Jerusalem are an interesting group. They saw Jesus on several occasions, and had come to believe He was from God. They believed He was the coming Messiah, for as He entered the city, the people crowded the streets chanting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some people carpeted the road beneath the donkey Jesus road upon with their cloaks, others brought palm branches. They acknowledged Him as their King, and thus treated Him as a King.

They had been waiting for God to send them a Deliverer. Evil authorities had ruled over them for too long, and now Jesus of Nazareth would arm the people of God to fight, and free them from oppression. This is what most of the people thought. To them, the Messiah was a physical warrior who would reign as a physical King, and sit on a physical throne engaged in a physical war.

But He Was A Spiritual King

Jesus taught otherwise. He taught of a heavenly kingdom. He taught of a home beyond the skies, where “…neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal…” Some of the people may have understood, but if there were any, they were few. Even His own disciples struggled with the idea of a spiritual kingdom. They struggled with the idea of Him waging spiritual warfare. How could victory over and freedom from oppression being found in humility, gentleness, self sacrifice, and complete surrender.

Let Him Be Crucified

The crowds were there throughout the week. Jesus taught in the temple a few times; perhaps many heard Him gladly. But in the morning hours of that Friday the multitudes were swayed, for their chief priests and scribes persuaded them to ask for Barabbas to be released, and for Jesus to be crucified. Sadly and strangely, they agreed, and thus called out to Pilate, “Let Him be crucified!”

Pilate retorted, “But He is your King!” The sad reply was this: “We have no king, but Caesar.” In the days before these individuals backed Jesus fully. He was a man of God in their eyes; in fact, the God-man. The Redeemer and Saviour of mankind. Yet now, they considered Him a mere criminal? What happened?

We see how easily man can be swayed. The crowd was bent to the will of their religious leaders, a group of Influential and highly esteemed people. Though the Jerusalem crowd supported the cause of Christ, believing Him to be the Messiah, in what may have been a matter of minutes, the Jewish leaders had convinced the people He was a fraud.

A Warning From Us

We’re not very different from these people in Jerusalem. We too are in search of one who will alleviate us of the chains that bind. But, if we are not careful, we can fall to the same fate as they. Beware of religious leaders; not all have your best interest and spiritual hope in mind. The Pharisees had an agenda of their own, and thus they lead the people in that direction. They were able to sway the people from one side of an issue to the other with little trouble. Never should our trust be so wrapped in men that we would deny that which is from God.

The Jerusalem crowd serves as a warning for us. If they had only trusted the “Word”, they would not have turned from it. But rather, their trust went to the scribes and Pharisees, to the hypocrites! Well did Jesus say, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

Links: back to our article archive | GROW magazine | YouVersion

Print Friendly, PDF & Email