Summary: Points on those gathered in the crowd to see Christ as He travled to the Hill top of Calvary
The Faces in the Crowd
March 18th 2007
Pastor Jerry Stepp
This is not the kind of kingdom that either the Palm Sunday or Good Friday crowds wanted. You see, God’s grace is the enemy of all “institutionalized religion.” Institutional religion wants to control people by misusing the Word of God. It looks for power. But God’s grace comes to set people free. And that was Jesus’ plan – to liberate; to set free; to offer grace and forgiveness and peace and to release condemned prisoners.
To Pilate, it is obvious that the peasant Jew before him is no king at all. Kings have bodyguards and armies and money and power. Jesus has none of this. Any reasonable person would defend himself against the aggression of his enemies and save his life.
Pilot knows that Jesus is not guilty of anything even close to deserving the death penalty. But the crowds press in. They shout, “Crucify Him, crucify Him, crucify Him.” They press more and shout louder. And so the sentence is pronounced – death by crucifixion.
Some of the people were common folk - wanting nothing more than a decent shake, hoping to be saved from rank poverty and economic corruption.
A Palm tree was a symbol of victory, triumph, joy, etc.
Behind the palm branches - can you see the faces?
In this crowd were, Fishermen, farmers, shepherds, tax collectors, zealots......
Ah, there were many faces in the crowd that day as Jesus rode into Jerusalem -- many faces for which Jesus wept.
Who was in the crowd?
1. The Friends of Jesus
Christ Himself asked for them top run forward to retrieve the donkey for Him to ride. No doubt, these men were following Jesus as He traveled the dust road on the day of the Triumphal Entry.
~Let’s fast forward a few days and see them as He traveled the dusty road to the Hill
~We can see them mingled in the crowds gathered,
~Identified by the others in the crowd, as followers of Jesus.
~And they were willing to deny Him, for fear they too would become as He is, crucified.
John 15:13 says…
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Only one was willing to stand with, at least in voice in..
John 11:16 it says…
Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
~A Friend will be there always…
Proverbs 17:17 says…
A friend loveth at all times,
~Christ showed His love for His friends, even when they all left, He still maintain his Love to them.
~When the world fails, your job fails, your friends and family forsake, Christ will always be true, a true friend.
~If we’ve ever denied Jesus, or failed to make room in our lives for God, we’ve crucified Him. If we’ve hated or lusted or stolen or ignored the pain of others, we’ve crucified Him.
~Even though He still is our friend.
2. The Family of Jesus
~We can recall from the movie that Mel Gibson made called “The Passion of Christ”. We
can see as Jesus journeyed to the top of the Hill, his mother traveled there too.
~At this time in the movie I was deeply moved.