I’ve been thinking about the events that led up to the crucifixion of Jesus. One thing that sticks out in the story to me is how “successful” and “famous” we would think Jesus was, right before he was crucified. John chapter 12 gives the following account:
He was given a 1st century palm frond “ticker tape” parade into the capital.
Large Crowds gathered to hear him speak.
He was known and loved for feeding the hungry and healing the sick.
They called him the “king of Israel” (even better than being the “king of pop”)
The whole country was buzzing about Jesus bringing his friend Laza rus back from the dead!
Even his biggest critics, the pharisees had this to say about him:
17Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” John 12:17-19
To most of us Jesus’ life would seem to have been at that point “as good as it gets”. He was loved. He was famous. ….and even better, famous for doing good!
The most amazing part of the story is that Jesus chose give up fame and applause for death and dishonor. He gave up the shouts of “Blessed is the King of Israel” for the torture and mocking words from Roman Soldiers. Jesus left “as Good as it Gets” for something inexplicably better.
Sunday we will celebrate that choice…and the thing that Jesus said was “the very reason I came“!