Though I have never seen it, Google has an interactive world map that allows them to see where searches are taking place all over the globe. In real time the map lights up based on the number of searches taking place in a particular location. Just by watching the map they can watch events unfold around the world. I wonder what that map would have looked like back in the day of Jesus. I imagine there would have been a bright cloud of social activity surrounding wherever Jesus was traveling.
Mark’s Gospel in the very first chapter tells us about the amazing appeal of Jesus.
44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. Mark 1:44-45 (NIV)
Everywhere he went there was a buzz. The crowd would follow him anywhere he went. If he tried to cross the lake by boat, they would run ahead of him and meet him on the other shore. If he was speaking in a house and people could not get to him they simply cut a hole in the roof.
As Holy week beings we find Jesus again in a crowd. He is entering Jerusalem today on a donkey, flanked by his disciples and a ever growing crowd. This crowd is running ahead of him, cutting down palm branches and laying them in his path, along with coats and blankets. Those that are not dropping the branches are waving them and calling out to Him.
13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” John 12:13 (NIV)
This noise and crowd drew the attention of the Pharisees but for a different reason. They were not there to grab a branch and wave it in the air. They were there to stop this commotion. They were looking to silence this Rabbi, Jesus. Luke tells us how they called on Jesus to put and end this celebration.
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” Luke 19:39 (NIV)
This request was uttered out of complete frustration at what the Pharisees were watching. They had been working for some time now to combat the “teachings” of this renegade Rabbi. This was evidence that the problem was not getting betting, in fact it was getting worse. Jesus answers their request in a way that can only leave them speechless.
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.“ Luke 19:40 (NIV)
I believe it was at this point of the event that John picks up on the utter frustration of the Pharisees.
19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” John 12:19 (NIV)
The Pharisees spoke the truth, more then I am sure they realized. “The whole world has gone after him!” This fact has not changed in 2000 years. Today we still are witnesses to the fact that the world world is going after Jesus. It is the way they are going after Jesus that varies.
Some go after Jesus claiming him to be a danger, a liar or at best a lunatic. They fear Jesus and his teachings. It is an undeniable fact that Jesus has changed the world. Many who are blinded by sin, and satan try their best to silence him.
Has it ever made you wonder why the name “Jesus” gets so misused? Why it has been come an expletive of anger? – Satan knows that there is tremendous power in the name Jesus, so he tries all he can to rob that name of authority, strength, and even respect. The good news is, if you read to the end of “the Book”, we win! Christ is triumphant over everything that satan, this world, and even our own selfish hearts can throw his way.
Those who today go after Him with fear and hate will one day see him for who he really is.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
Leslie Brandt in his classic book Christ In Your Life speaks of the reality of Christ;
“If Christ has not be raised,” writes a professor, :then His mission is uncertified, His miracles are impositions, His death is a mistake, and Christianity has been robbed of its credentials…”
Christ has been raised from the dead, and because He lives, I too can live – in victory over sin and as a righteous and holy son of the living God now and for all eternity.
If I really relieved it.
Whatever might be considered as evidences of the resurrection of Jesus, the most effective is the witness of God’s Spirit in the hearts of all who will believe, the reflection of the living Christ in the lives of those who follow and obey Him.
It is the king of evidence that cannot be denied or disputed. It can however, be experienced in my life – as it has been by unnumbered thousands before me.
As we head into Holy week I am numbered among the millions who today are still going after Christ as Savior and Lord.
“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” John 12:13 (NIV)
Brandt concludes his article with these words:
God grant that I may confound the skeptics, in home, office, and on Main Street, or in the marketplace, by a daily demonstration of Christ’s resurrection and by allowing the Christ who arose from the deal to rise up anew within me and make known His life and power through me.
My prayer is that this Holy Week you will be counted among the millions who are going after Him, so that the forgiveness and life won for you through the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ would fill your life.