This Sunday is Easter.  To many, this is a day to gather for a family meal, dole out chocolate bunnies to the kids and maybe go to church.  If this describes some of your activities around this weekend, the following blog was not written with you in mind.  Rather, these thoughts are directed toward those who profess belief in what the Bible says happened that first Easter; that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead; that His death paid the penalty we owe for our sinfulness and His coming back to life is the final victory over death that allows entry into eternity with Him.

As I re-read the account of the crucifixion found in Luke 23:26-49, I found myself burdened with a question about my own life of faith.  I share it with you in hopes that you too will be challenged as I have been to deepen my faith.  The wrestling began as I read verse 35:

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him.

As was the Roman custom 2000 years ago, those condemned to die this grisly death had to carry a heavy part of the cross they were to be crucified on to a hill outside of town.  It was a sad parade witnessed by many who hoped to catch a glimpse of the accused.  This time, there were those in that crowd who had seen some of the miracles Jesus had performed.  Perhaps others had been present when He spoke in the Temple.  Still others, probably most, were simply drawn to the spectacle, waiting to see how things would turn out.

Which brings me to my point: Am I standing by again this Easter, waiting to see how things turn out?  Am I somehow keeping my life of faith under wraps, waiting to see some great sign from above before I walk more boldly in it?

I am in no way casting judgment on that original crowd simply because they were sight-seers.  Remember, it is always a good idea to read the biblical accounts in context.  In this case, those people genuinely did not know what was to happen.  To most of these witnesses, this was an annual event, though this time one of those sentenced to death had more notoriety than at other times.  Still, God’s plan had not yet played out to its completion.  Few if any were expecting the eternity changing events that were to happen three days hence.

Today, I do know what happened on that glorious Resurrection Day and yet, I find myself too often standing on the sidelines while life’s parade marches by.  What is it that holds me back from proclaiming, by word and deed, the miracle of that first Easter morn.

Whatever rationalization I can come up with certainly pales considering the power of the resurrection.  I think to best not be a spectator  this year, and going forward, I need to take the command Jesus gave his disciples found in John 13:34-35 more seriously: “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV).

To actively love the world around me as Jesus tells me I should requires that I get involved with it.  The current state of our world provides amble opportunity to get off the sidelines and into action.  There are so many hurting and desperate people who need a genuine display of the love we so often talk about.  But I must be willing, as Jesus was throughout His earthly ministry, to minister to folks right where they are.  I am encouraging all of us, using the awesome wonder and power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, to motivate us afresh to do this.

Won’t you join me, asking for His help and guidance, to commit to being a more faithful follower of the Lord?  Please take to heart the command to love others so that the love of Christ may be made known. Let’s joyfully serve wherever and in whatever capacity is needed.  May we not stand off to the side and merely watch anymore. Spread the joy of the Resurrection every day, that others may come to know the saving love of God.

One thought on “The People Stood Watching

  1. Well said , I just watched “The Passion” with my wife, it is heart wrenching, Especially in reality. The torment in which Christ endured !heavy!. We need to step outside of our little comfort zones daily in honor of the King! He gave us a testimony, we aught not squander it.

    Liked by 1 person

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