Summary: There were several people passing by or standing near the cross, but what they saw depended on what they were looking for when they looked at Jesus.
Near The Cross
Maundy Thursday is the beginning of the process that takes Jesus to the cross. Jesus was crucified in a very public place, which means many people saw what was taking place.
Where do you think you would have fit in that day based on what you think about Jesus?
Would you have been like the man who was trying to get to work that day and was upset at the people blocking the road who were looking at the crucifixion?
You know how it is when traffic slows down on the highway because of an accident. Nobody plans to stop and get involved, they just wanted to see what had happened.
Is your relationship with Jesus, similar to this man. Jesus is nothing more than simply a momentary distraction in your life or an inconvenience at worse?
Oh sure you’ve heard about him, but going near him is the last thing on your mind.
Would you have been like the woman who was crying and wailing at the cross? She was yelling my son, my son, my only son. How could they have done this to you?
She sobbed uncontrollably, until her husband said “come on we should go. I knew it was a mistake to let you come and see this.”
Our son is getting what he deserved. He chose a life of crime and now its caught up with him. You see this husband and wife was there at the crucifixion of Jesus, but they had not come to see Jesus, they were there for one of the other criminals that had been crucified.
They saw Jesus without really seeing him. Their son who was crucified, meant far more to them than Jesus ever could.
The suffering of Jesus meant nothing to them. They were totally unaware of a need for Jesus in their lives.
Maybe that’s where you are today. You don’t know why Jesus was on the cross or what it was he was dong there. You are more concerned with your own problems than with Jesus.
You really don’t think he’s all that important.
Maybe you’re like the guy who came to the cross because he had heard about Jesus and the miracles he had done.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead.
Now that was pretty impressive, but you didn’t see it for yourself. You’re not quite sure if Jesus is who he claims to be, but if he can do a miracle and come down off the cross, you just might start believing in him.
You are operating on the false belief that God has to prove himself to you in a dramatic fashion to win your allegiance.
So with the crowd, you’re cheering on the group that’s saying, if he is the son of God, let him come down off the cross so that we might believe.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that you do not realize how serious a matter your sin is. You’re are trying to bargain your soul over proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Anyone who comes to the cross, has to come in faith In order for the work of Christ to cleanse them from their sin.
If Jesus had chosen to do something spectacular for us to see on the cross, He would not have died for our sins and we would still be lost.
Would you have been like one of the soldiers who came to the came to the cross because it was your job. The soldiers didn’t care about Jesus one way or the other.
They had to be at the cross. When they looked at Jesus, they saw a chance to get ahead economically.
Jesus wasn’t going to be needing his clothes. One got his shoes, another one got his cloak, and the other one got his scarf.
But the tunic, Jesus had was really nice. It was valuable only as a single piece so that rolled dice to see who would get it.
The soldiers were not interested in Jesus dying for their sins or what that would mean for them. They just wanted him to die.
They were interested more in what they could get out of Jesus in this life.
It is so easy to use Jesus today as our waymaker who is going to bless us financially. We’re not interested in obedience and changed lives.
We just want Jesus to bless us. Oh we might come to church and to bible study, not out of love for Christ, but out of duty. Our family expects us to go to church or even worse makes us go.
When we go, like the soldiers we are only looking at what’s in it for me.
When Pilate offered to release Jesus as a yearly favor done at the Passover, the crowd said not Jesus, but Barrabas.