Google+ 03/26/14 Don't Give Up on Jesus...He Won't Give Up on You!

Philippians 1:28-30

 

Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies.

This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed,

But that you are going to be saved, even by God himself.

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ

But also the privilege of suffering for him.

We are in this struggle together.

You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

 

Today's Scripture, written by Paul, is a gentle reminder of something we often forget.  As Easter approaches, it is a good time to remember that in order to claim Palm Sunday, we must also embrace Good Friday.  In order to rejoice in Easter, we must stay awake with Jesus on Thursday in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Yes, I said all of that out loud!  On Palm Sunday, everyone was in the streets proclaiming the glory of the Lord.  People pushed and shoved to have a "front-row seat" to see Jesus as He rode into town.  The Jews treated Him like a rock star.  Everyone wanted to touch Him and be touched.  So what happened?  Public opinion and peer pressure shifted.  The Jews were intimidated by their enemies.  The chief priests and top government officials all wanted Jesus dead.  They had been plotting His demise for months.  Now Jesus is "front and center" and the crowd loves Him.  The religious leaders got nervous and put their plans in motion.  How widespread was the coup?  Only one of Jesus's disciples showed up at the cross.  Virtually none of the "Palm Sunday" people showed up on Friday and we know only three went to the tomb on that miraculous Sunday.  So where was everyone else?  Paul tells us and we should listen because the very same thing is happening in churches today.  Everyone was intimidated by those that simply didn't completely believe in Christ.  When it was inconvenient or unpopular, the masses disappeared and we disappear with them.  We don't embrace the struggle that we are in for Jesus.  As Paul says, we must see it as a privilege to struggle for God, not a hassle or inconvenience.  When our "Good Fridays" come, in the name of Jesus, we must stand firm and be an example to our enemies.  We must show them that even in hardships, we are saved by the grace and mercy of God, through His Son Jesus Christ.  So, go ahead and shout "Hosanna!"  It feels good and Jesus deserves it!  In the darkest hour, when Jesus tells us to stay awake and pray with Him, let's not desert Him.  "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is not just a great song.  It should be our declaration each and every day.  "Don't Give Up On Jesus...He Won't Give Up on You!"