March 28 – Active Choice
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him; but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place[a] and our nation.” But one of them, Ca′iaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.
Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called E′phraim; and there he stayed with the disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”
We now have some perspective on what was going on behind closed doors. The chief priests are conspiring with one another to determine what they should do about this man named Jesus. To them at first He was just a troublemaker who was in the temple making them look poorly, using the word of God against them and healing the people. Now that His popularity was growing, He was making a real impact on the people and drawing them away from them. He was a menace, ruining their religion, and something needed to be done. They thought if He continued, it would be the end of them, and even the end of the nation.
When it comes to Jesus, He makes us must make a choice and take action. We either can accept and follow Him, or reject and try to fight Him. He is not passive and neither can the people around Him be passive. If we choose to follow Him, we must follow Him one hundred percent. We must go to church, pray, bring Jesus into our homes and live our lives according to His word.
Our other choice is to completely reject who Jesus is and the Lord who sent Him. Those who chose to reject Him will do everything in their power to dismiss Him from their lives and try to eliminate Him from the lives of others. In order to fight against those trying to remove Jesus, we must have a prayer life or keep the Sabbath each week. No other man on earth can elicit such opposite emotions, either love or hate, as Jesus Christ.Today is the day we either plot to kill Jesus like the Pharisees and chief priests for disturbing their sinful lives. Or today is the day we choose to love and follow Jesus with all our heart, soul, strength and might, wherever He takes us towards eternity.
When we accept Jesus completely, He too will come close to us, into our homes to be with His disciples. This is where Jesus wants to be, close to us. Welcome Jesus into your home by placing sacramentals throughout your home. Use them to remind you to pray and thank the Lord for all He has done. God is Good!
Lent in Action:
Go out and get a new crucifix and place it above your door out of your home. Allow Jesus to bless you as you go out into the world doing His work.
Lord Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and Savior. I choose freely to follow you wherever you lead me, all the days of my life. I will work in your name to bring more disciples to come to know you, and will pray for those who persecute me because of you. I do this in your name, Jesus Christ. Amen.