PART TWO: Praise to Prosecution ...
As we continue looking at the betrayal Jesus endured while on earth, we see another confrontation he faced… a community of friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers. We see a community of believers and pre-believers that exhanged their expression of loyalty from praise to prosecution.
Jesus saw a community full of praise flip to prosecution
"The crowds that went ahead of Him, and those that followed Him, were shouting [in praise and adoration], "Hosanna to the Son of David (Messiah); Blessed [praised, glorified] is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest [heaven]!" When He entered Jerusalem, all the city was trembling [with excitement], saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee." Matthew 21:9-11 AMP
Entering Jerusalem, Jesus was given the highest praise from those that believed Him to be Messiah. Crowds were shouting in adoration, and others were bubbling with excitement at the chance to meet Him. We forget that just a few days later, this same crowd of people, the very same community, betrayed Jesus and called for his prosecution. The same group rose with a mighty roar to demand His death.
"Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice, they shouted, "Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!" (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government and for murder.) Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"…But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded." Luke 23:18-21, 23-24 NLT
Illogical attacks from those in the community unfolded for Jesus in Luke 23. Jesus had no reason to be condemned the same as a rebellious murderer. Yet, the community called for his life to be ended horrifically. This crowd of citizens imposed the release of a murderer over an innocent. Jesus was misunderstood, misrepresented, publicly slandered, and condemned for sinful acts He did not commit. Jesus understands betrayal from a community or crowd.
Dictionary.com defines "community" as…
a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
How could we define our community?
extended family living nearby
neighbors we wave to
schoolmates we hang with
folks we volunteer with
parents in the carpool
people we like on social media
individuals who serve us coffee
Have you ever experienced an illogical attack from a neighbor, schoolmate, etc.? Have you had someone from your community betray or abandon you? What can we take from Jesus' example to move us to victory?
How did Jesus gain Victory after Betrayal?
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." Lamentations 3:22-23
"For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith." 1 John 5:4 NLT
If Jesus knew scripture, which He did, He knew of the faithfulness of His Father from even before He was born. Jesus also experienced God's faithfulness, which never ended regardless of what was happening to Him while living in this world. Knowing and encountering the enormity of God's faithfulness resulted in Jesus' own exponential faith. I believe Jesus' faith allowed him to achieve victory after betrayal from his community, attacks from the crowd, and being nailed to a cross before them. I believe Jesus knew the key to triumph over evil in the world was faith in His Father, the God of the Universe, the Great I Am! Jesus exhibited faith beyond human understanding.
"We live by faith not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
Do we really believe in God's words and who He has shown Himself to be? We try, but we often have assurance by what we see in front of us. Guess what? That's not how God defines faith.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
The truth is that Father God is faithful, and His faithfulness is so vast it takes us into eternity. We can have hope, faith, and assurance like Jesus did. We can, without question, know that our Heavenly Father has endless, faithful love for us no matter what we face. While living this life on earth, we can live by believing, not just by seeing. This victorious truth isn't just for Jesus. It's for you and me too!
STOP. Take a breath, or maybe three. Pause and give God an offering of your time. Allow Jesus to come to you right where you are. Allow Him to invade the eyes of your heart. Allow Him to speak and show you what He wants to reveal. Let Him come and minister. Allow Him to move freely and bring victory to hurt places in your heart. Let Him apply His love and power to move you past the betrayal and into His loving arms of peace, redemption, and victory! Picture Jesus in your mind as you pray.
Pray and speak with Him...
Jesus, thank you for being with me at this moment. Thank you for dying on the Cross for my benefit and on my behalf. I praise you as Messiah. Hosanna in the Highest! I honor you. I know you understand the pain I felt when I was betrayed. I know you want me to live beyond this betrayal. I choose to hand it all over to you. Please forgive me for my unbelief. I receive Father God's faithful, endless love for me. Fill me afresh so I can push past betrayal. Bring me an increase in the power of Holy Spirit to continue loving others with your supernatural love. I trust you, honor you and give you all the glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Sparkling Brooks Ministries