Google+ 12/13/12 "It's Okay, It's Only a Few"

Mark 14:1-2

 

It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity

To capture Jesus secretly and kill him.

“But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.” 

 

I must confess that there are times in my life when I am glued to the rear-view mirror.  I know in my heart that this is not the way to live.  The Holy Spirit convicts me to "keep my eyes on the road ahead."  Nevertheless, I sometimes find myself watching what is coming up behind me, rather than focusing on where God is taking me as we move forward, together.  Our Scripture passage today demonstrates why this happens to me.  Remember when Jesus tells His disciples that they must "take up His cross and follow Him?"  What they failed to see is the same thing we miss in this statement.  If we take up His cross, the target is on our back, too.  People will plot to "kill" us.  That light at the end of our tunnel is often an oncoming freight train.  In my discussions with pastors about this subject, I get an answer that I really don't like and seems to me to be a less than an adequate understanding of this subject.  Often when we are subjected to undeserved, severe criticism in our lives, the response from ministers is "It's okay.  It's just a few people."  Read the passage above carefully.  There were only a few people that were plotting to kill Jesus.  But, who were they?  Mark says that they were "the leading priests and teachers of religious law."  So, the people in authority in the church were plotting to kill Jesus.  Should our response to this be "It's okay.  It's just a few people?"  I think not and God doesn't think so either.  Let's examine the consequences of these "few people."  In short, these few people were able to turn Palm Sunday into Good Friday.  They got people who were waving Palm Branches and yelling "Hosanna" at the beginning of the week, to insisting on crucifixion at the end of the week.  And how did they do it?  By plotting and being deceiving, right down to when they would NOT do it, so as to control the masses of people.  Now, we know why Jesus was crucified and yes, prophecy needed to be fulfilled.  God made that clear with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus said "yes" to His Father to save us from our sin.  Our price has been paid in full.  As we take up His cross and follow Him, I am aware that we should be willing to "die" for Christ, but God and Jesus do not intend for us to be crucified by "the leading priests and teachers of religious law."  That is why the Bible deals with conflict and discipline in the church.  This is how God and Jesus prevented the Sanhedrin from re-forming in the local New Testament Church.  Letting a "few people" say and do whatever they want to "kill" God's people and His message, is simply not Biblical.  We, as ministers of the Gospel, must stand amongst God's people and speak the truth in love, and not stand by while plotting and scheming gains momentum.  I have far too often seen churches be completely destroyed because no one spoke up before the "Crucify Him" cries began.  Once that starts, the end is near.  Jesus had a divine advantage that we simply don't have.  He rose from the dead and came back to talk about it with His closest friends.  Their wounds were healed because they once again were able to see their Savior, face-to-face.  Many Christians never have their "wounds healed" from the "crucifixions" that take place in churches.  They just leave, never to return to God's house again.  Why?  They expected more from God's people.  They should have.  Yes, we are all sinners and because of that we sin!  Yet aren't we supposed to work everyday to combat sin?  If you are in any leadership position in a local New Testament Church, please heed this warning.  Don't let anyone continue to find an opportunity to "capture" anyone in your church that is doing God's will and following Jesus.  Stand up and be heard for Christ.  Speak the truth.  By remaining silent and saying, "Can't we all just get along," you are granting the "lead priests and the teachers of religious law" the right to turn Palm Sunday into Good Friday.  Jesus rose because He was divine.  Think about the souls that could be lost to Satan in the wake of our "church crucifixions."  It only took one person to betray Jesus.  Look what  happened.  Remember and don't forget.  Jesus rose and went to heaven.  Judas killed himself.  What about all the people in the crowd that were on the verge of believing in God's only son?  What happened to them?  It's not okay because "It's just a few."  It is evil and we will all suffer, but no one will roll away our earthly stone.  We will commune with Jesus, but we will not return three days later to make everything right with God's people.  Remember, that after Christ ascended, the Bible tells us that over 25,000 were added to the church that very day.  These people were probably also present for the crucifixion.   Don't let these "lead priests and teachers of religious law" wait for a convenient time.  Stop the crucifixion today.  God has given us the power of truth.  Let's use it!