Posted on Sunday, Apr 03, 2022 by Scott Savage
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I loved big trucks, so I wanted to be a garbage man. However, on holidays while I was eating turkey or opening presents, I saw those guys working. Between that experience and smelling their truck up close, I began to rethink my decision.
A Harris Poll in 2019 revealed that the most popular answer from 3,000 kids ages 8-12 to the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was "I want to be a vlogger/YouTuber." More than an astronaut, a musician, a teacher, or a professional athlete, these kids wanted to be famous!
While it may shock some, it makes sense. Kids today are growing up watching many people getting their 15 minutes of fame for random reasons.
Take Alex for instance. Alex was a clerk at Target, minding his business scanning someone's item at the checkout stand, when the customer he was serving, snapped a picture of him and posted it on her social media account. Alex was a good-looking guy with a haircut that matched Justin Bieber's at the time. Her caption read "Yoooooo!" and it went viral. Within a short period, Alex went from 144 followers on Twitter to over 500k. Once he appeared on The Ellen Show, he broke 700k followers. All Alex did was show up at work and look cute.
We live in a world where people attract attention very quickly. Yet, as quickly as that attention comes, it can leave or change.
When Jesus walked the earth, massive crowds followed him and a great crowd welcomed him into the city. They were long expecting a Messiah who would arrive as a conquering king. They longed for one who would overthrow the Romans, restore the throne of David, and bring peace and prosperity to the nation again.
Shouting "Hosanna!", laying their cloaks on the ground, and greeting Jesus riding on a donkey, the people began their week on Sunday at a fever pitch.
However, their preparation and jubilation would quickly morph into amazement, bewilderment, confusion, and even disappointment. Jesus didn't do what they thought he would. He overthrew tables in the temple. He took an adversarial posture towards the religious leaders. He didn't gather an attacking force against the Romans. What was he thinking?!
Like all crowds, the attention of the crowd and their energy shifted quickly. If we could have listened in then, we might have heard phrases like "What is he doing? I thought this time was going to be different. Wow, I didn't see that coming. I thought I was ready, but I guess not."
The crowd in Jerusalem embodied the "Disappointment Equation." What is that equation?
Unstated, unrealistic, and/or unmet expectations + experience in a real, broken world = disappointment.
While all disappointment is difficult to navigate, disappointment with God may be the most difficult of all.
Francine Rivers described well our response to those feelings. "We all wanted what we wanted, and when the Lord fulfilled HIS purpose rather than ours, we struck out against him. In anger. In disappointment."
That's what the crowd did during Holy Week. The same people who cried "Hosanna!" on Sunday cried "Crucify Him!" on Friday. In Mark 15, we read about the crowd's response.
"Would you like me to release to you this 'King of the Jews'?" Pilate asked. (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked them, "Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?" They shouted back, "Crucify him!"
"Why?" Pilate demanded. "What crime has he committed?" But the mob roared even louder, "Crucify him!"
So to appease the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified."
We are capable of all sorts of decisions when we're disappointed and when we're manipulated by people with ill intent. Before you judge the crowd for their quick turn against Jesus, pause and consider your own past.
When did you prepare for something, get your hopes up, and then feel massively let down? What words came out of your mouth? What emotions bubbled up in your soul?
When did you carry unstated, possibly even unrealistic expectations, only to watch someone not do what you wanted or expected? What kind of resentment came to life in you?
Part of preparing to remember the cross and the resurrection this week is connecting with the emotions and experiences of those who were there.
This week, as we prepare for Easter, here are three reminders I needed that I hope encourage you as well.
In their new song, "Same God," @Elevation Worship sings about how the same God Jacob, Moses, David, and the disciples called on is the same God we worship today.
I pray that this year, as you prepare for Easter, you allow the same feelings which turned a crowd away from Jesus to turn you back towards Jesus.
May He meet you in your disappointment, disillusionment, and discouragement.
May you worship the same God who turned mourning into dancing.
May He bring life from death and renew your hope this Easter!
Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer with the coolest last name ever. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani and they are the parents of three “little savages.” He helps hurting people forgive others through his Free to Forgive course and you can read more of his writing at scottsavagelive.com
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