Saturday, 7 April 2012

Which crowd?

This week is Passion week. The days between Jesus entering Jerusalem to the adulation and adoration of the crowds, to being placed on trial for blasphemy and taken to the Roman death sentence of crucifixion.
The approaching weekend is probably the most significant few days in the Christian calendar. This time of year draws our attention to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us to bring us back into a restored relationship with God.
I have been contemplating some of the different crowds that have played a part in that week.

We have the crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with praise, palm branches and proclaiming Him the coming king. They were there because maybe they had seen or even received a miracle from Jesus. They wanted to be part of this movement that they thought would sweep the Roman invaders from their promised land.

Then there was the crowd a few days later at Jesus' trial. Led by the religious and societal leaders, they shouted "Crucify him." There were possibly those from the crowd a few days earlier that were proclaiming their king.

Then on the day we now call "Good Friday" there was the small crowd that stood at the foot of the cross. Standing with their dreams in tatters and their hearts broken as their Rabbi, teacher, friend and master hung from the cross. I don't just want to be part of the crowd that gets carried along in the praise and worship of Jesus but is unable to go the distance to stand at the foot of the cross. I love the passion and vibrancy of our style of praise and worship, but lets not have it stop there. We need to make our way to the foot of the cross.

This Easter make a decision to be in the crowd that will stand at the cross and remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Then also remember that He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow His way. When our dreams are seemingly dead and our hearts broken, when our marriage has failed, maybe our sickness is persistent or the notice of redundancy has come through- what do we do? Do we become part of the crowd that has moved from singing the latest Hillsong song loudly to proclaiming that God doesn't care or isn't listening or maybe even denying He is real? Or do we make our way to the foot of the cross and remember that even if we never 'feel' God's love again we know with every fibre of our being that He loves me because of Jesus' death. Do we deny ourselves and take up our own cross and follow Him?

Which crowd will you be part of this Easter?

As NCLC we will come together as our three campuses to worship and remember the sacrifice and the victory that Easter shows us. This is one of the great windows of opportunity we have to invite people from our world into our church community. Don't waste it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. After Lizzie's death I had a foot of the cross moment - for the three days preceeding the memorial service I could not sing a note of worship. I could sing to anything on the radio even special songs Lizzie and i loved but not any note of praise, thanks or even a cry out to God. That memorial service was very different to anything I had expected. My plan was to sneak in and sneak out and only do one service that day. If I didnt worship people would understand, yet as soon as the morning started there was something. Maybe awe of God's power and soveriegnty and odly a strange sense of abondonment. I stood being all too aware that Gods ways were not my ways and after the worst 18 hours of my whole life and witnessing the most horrendous things I some how felt the need to exalt and lift up God. As soon as I started worshipping even through the tears I knew this was the place to be. Before God is where you take everything, where you lay everything down and abandon your own itinerary. I have always loved worship so much it is something where you don't even need to make a request to God to be healed or taken out of your circumstance and yet moments in you are there just you and God. That service was a different kind of worship, hurt and upset but honest. My world had crumbled yet I needed to be there for the second service and throught it know more than ever that there is the best place to have your worst day. As soon as you spoke at church about the foot of the cross I truly felt that I had been there but I also think that when we have those moments we realise that thats the crowd to be in and that if we can be in that crowd and worship through those circumstances then we truly are Gods children who can worship in anything. Great post Jon.

  2. That's great Rache, thanks for sharing that. You're an inspiration xx

  3. Wow, thanks for that Rachel.