The Mob

Luke 23

Friday, December 30, 2022

            I’m just going to put it out there.  Luke 23 really frustrates me.  There is so much wrong with what happened to Jesus, and it should have been obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense, but “the mob” got their way because they were the loudest and most obnoxious.  Has anything changed in 2,000 years or is the mob still getting their way?  Why did God allow the mob to get what they wanted?  Why didn’t He protect His son?

            My first point of frustration is that the people wanting to kill Jesus were not the ones that didn’t believe in God; they were the ones who supposedly had devoted their lives to God.  Apparently, “Thou shall not kill” was too difficult for them to understand.  They also weren’t too bright about recognizing that Jesus was the Messiah that they had been told would be coming.  It is true that Jesus rocked their world a bit by telling them they needed to reevaluate their laws and their hearts, but it is amazing that their response to that was that they believed Jesus should be killed.  I am trying to picture an elders’ meeting today at our church where we had to talk about someone stirring up the congregation in a way we thought was inappropriate.  I can’t imagine someone would suggest, “We need to kill them.”  (Although, I guess I did just imagine that or I wouldn’t have written it.)

            The most frustrating part of this chapter is reading about how an innocent man was sentenced to death.  Pilate knew Jesus was not guilty and he tried to convince the mob of such.  They weren’t having it, so Pilate sent Jesus to Herod because he didn’t want any part of condemning an innocent man.  Herod also could not find anything that Jesus had done wrong, so he sent him back to Pilate.  Pilate pleaded with the people again, but the people wouldn’t listen.  Pilate tried one last time to get Jesus released with the rule about letting a prisoner go free.  Instead, the mob said they wanted an insurrectionist/murderer released.  Again, if the mob had one shred of common sense, they would have freed Jesus.  This was so wrong!

            Lastly, it was ridiculous enough that they put Jesus to death, but it is extremely frustrating to read about how they did it.  Why did they have to choose the most torturous, horrific way of killing someone?  The pain Jesus felt had to be excruciating and it lasted way too long.  I get mad thinking about what they did, and they did it to the one person who literally never did anything wrong to anyone.

            This was a terrible act by the people, but why did God not stop it?  Strangely enough, it was always a part of God’s plan.  Think about what would have happened if God had not allowed Jesus to die on the cross.  I suppose he would have gone on teaching, healing, and revealing the kingdom, and at some point, Jesus would have died of old age.  No crucifixion.  No resurrection.  Nobody paying the price for our sins.  God allowed the most terrible act in history to happen because it was also the most wonderful act in history.  There has never been an act in all of time that was greater than what Jesus did for you and me on that day.

            I am sorry to say that the mob is still alive and well.  I am continually frustrated by all the things I see today that happen because the mob gets what it wants.  Christians are losing many battles today, just like Jesus lost to the mob back then.  I feel like the women and acquaintances that were mentioned in verses 27 and 49.  They too were watching the injustice from a distance, knowing they couldn’t stop the mob.  However, I think about what Jesus said while he was dying on the cross.  He asked his Father to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing.  I believe the mob today truly believes that what they are doing is right; they just don’t understand what they are doing.  And we should ask God to forgive them as well, the same way Jesus did while he was being tortured and killed back then.

-Rick McClain

Time to ponder:

Take some time to remember what Jesus went through on that horrible day so that our sins could be forgiven.  Also, think about what it must have been like for God to watch His son die in that way when He had the power to stop it at any time.  Do you love someone enough that you would make your son take their punishment of death or would you decide that they should take the punishment themselves since they are the one who committed the crime and deserve it?  Thank Jesus and God for that incredible loving act.

Are you frustrated today when you see the loudmouths get their way, especially when it is against Christians?  Are you willing to forgive them?

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