We’ve all heard the Easter story dozens of times. And we’re going to hear it again on Sunday. And you’ve probably been inundated with Easter related blogs and tweets all this week.
But I have a very special Easter message for you. Have you ever thought of who Jesus’ best friend in the whole wide world was the last week he was here on Earth? The answer may surprise you.
The Crowd on Palm Sunday
We all know that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, a crowd of people and paparazzi were waiting for him. It was a big media event. People were excited. But a curious thing happened. The crowd of people were a lot like those palm branches they cut down. Once those branches were cut down, they died pretty quickly. So did the hype around Jesus. The people turned out to see him, but by the end of the week, where’s the love? Not such good friends if you ask me.
Jesus wouldn’t need enemies if these guys were his friends. The story says they were trying to kill him as soon as he set foot in Jerusalem. Nope, none of these guys qualify as Jesus’ BFFs.
For all the arguing the disciples did over who would be the greatest, they certainly did a mean impression of a bunch of schoolgirls when things got rough at the end of the week. Even tough guy Peter ran away, afraid of a little girl. Even after three years, none of these guys look like such great friends to Jesus.
By Good Friday, everyone in Jerusalem had abandoned him, betrayed him, jeered him, or killed him…except one.
The ass he rode into town on.
Given the choice between the disciples, the Pharisees and the fickle crowd, I have to say, I’d take that donkey any day.
See, the Bible is full of “almost disciples,” people who come into contact with Jesus, but they waste it. Guys like lepers who are healed, and don’t come back. People who meet Jesus, but they’ve just got a couple of honey-dos to finish before they can blow town with Jesus, a crowd of people whose excitement turns to hate in a few days. Jesus doesn’t have time for any of these people. Jesus is looking for people who aren’t fickle, aren’t going to sell out, are going to be reliable and loyal and do the work and not be ashamed, like a humble farm animal.
The church needs a lot more people that are willing to be asses for Jesus. That’s what it means to be a disciple.
And that is your very special Easter message.
Tell us about how you’re celebrating the holiday. What’s your favorite Easter song or tradition?