Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Shouts ~ Part 3

My thoughts wonder now if it was difficult for the chief priests and elders to persuade the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas. I wonder now if it was difficult at all for these same leaders to stir up the crowd to “shout all the louder, ‘Let Him be crucified!’” (Matthew 27:23b).

What a difference in the shouts! 
On Sunday they shouted “Hosanna”! 
On Friday they shouted “crucify”!

And there was one final shout to be made . . .

“Pilate saw that he was making no impression, that in fact a riot was imminent. So he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowds and said, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your concern.’ And the people, every one of them, shouted back, ‘Let his blood be on us and on our children! Then he released Barabbas for them. After having Jesus scourged he handed him over to be crucified.” (Matthew 27:24-26)

What a difference in shouts!

They had the right man, but they stopped believing in Him and angrily turned on Him when He failed to live up to their expectations!

What about us?  What about the crowds who follow Him today?

What happens when He fails to live up to our expectations?

Do we only praise God when we see Him at work in our lives?
When He relieves our oppressions and all is well in our world?

We shout “Hosanna’s” when needs are provided for, when things are nice, neat, orderly and relationships give no grief. But what happens when life gets hard, unpredictable and even messy? What happens when a job is lost, the creditors won’t stop calling, a bad medical report is received, a loved one dies, a spouse breaks a promise, or a child breaks a heart?

Do we stop believing and turn from Him?

Do shouts of praise turn silent
or worse
do they turn to words of 
anger and dejection?

God cannot be boxed. There is much we can know by knowing His word. We can trust Him explicitly. But His ways of doing things, His sovereign will, will not always make sense to us. It will not always be what we expect.

Oh Father God, may my shouts consistently be of love and praise to You and to the One who saves me! Regardless of my hopes, my dreams and my expectations of how my life should live, I pray that you would hear only my words of adoration and gratitude falling on Your ear! As I grapple with my thoughts this week—this Holy Week—as I struggle to understand how the shouts could change so significantly from Sunday to Friday, Father don’t let me forget the truth of it all. They did change THAT fast! They can change that fast today, with me, if I allow myself to take my eyes off of You. If I stop trusting in Your good intent for my life! If I stop looking for Your sovereign will to be done and not my own. My life has great purpose. You would not have taken the time to form me in the womb. You would not continue to mold and make me, if that were not the case. I am deeply desired and loved by You! The beginning, middle and ends of my life may not always look—be—the way I envision or even desire. Father, I lay down all of my expectations of You at the foot of the cross of Christ! Father, I lay down all of my perceived rights to have the life I envision for myself at the foot of the cross of Christ! Your ways are not my ways, Your thoughts are not my thoughts—Your ways are higher, wiser, more complete and more completely for my good and for Your glory. I choose this day to trust You completely with the direction in which you take this life of mine. I give it to you completely and willingly, with all my heart! I pray that all of my shouts, from today and into eternity, only be shouts of Hosanna—Holy is the Lord God Almighty! Amen!

The Shouts ~ Part 1
The Shouts ~ Part 2

{edited from the archives, as I spend my week quiet with Jesus}

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