Jesus and His followers are in Jerusalem for what will be their last Passover celebration together. He’s performed miracles like no one’s ever seen. For three years He tells stories that engage people like no rabbi ever has. Reaches out to the most abject outcasts. Shows love and forgiveness that turns heads. Rumors float in the air that Jesus is God’s Son and promised Messiah.
Nevertheless, the religious high-and-mighty gather to plot His overthrow. To move Him off center stage. Marginalize His competitive advantages. As Luke writes–‘…(they) were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus…’ (Luke 22: 2).
What to do with Jesus. Good riddance! Adios, amigo! Sayonara! Au revoir! Auf Wiedersehen! Alright, enough already.
Here’s a question I ask myself. How many times have I wanted to do much the same? Hardly asking for God’s input. Thumbing my nose at His commands. Turning my back on what’s right so I can get more for me. In effect, getting rid of Jesus. Am I alone?
Throughout history people want to deep-six Jesus. Sin with abandon. Without restrictions, paying a price for being plain stupid and selfish. Going my way is a one-way ticket to disappointment and frustration. And yet how many of us, and how much of our culture, ride that same hellbent bus to the very outskirts of hell.
There’s more. Satan enters the picture. Ever since those temptations in the wilderness (Luke 4), Satan lurks in Jesus’ shadow. Ready to pounce when given the chance. Judas nods his permission, and a flood of evil enters to his utter ruination. Getting rid of Jesus ultimately slides the unbeliever to darkness unimaginable and more and worse.
So, let’s be in the company of those eleven remaining disciples. Did they understand everything about Jesus? Not by a long shot. Yet they know whose garment to hold onto. In whose steps to follow. Whose voice to listen to. Whose love to count on.
Take Jesus’ hand. Hold on tight. He’ll never let you go!
Jesus, we cling to you for dear life now and forever. Amen.