Hailing Christ, Later Hating Christ

March 24, 2013

Friends,
“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover.” (John 11:55) The people were obeying the law God had given them through Moses, but unfortunately, for most of them it was just ceremony. Their hearts would remain unclean. Certainly the hearts of the chief priests, Pharisees, teachers of the law, and elders would. In fact, the more miracles these leaders saw Jesus do, the more envious and murderous their hearts became. Their lust for power and prestige and control blinded them to the plain truth.

But what about the common people? Well, five days before Passover many of them went out to meet Jesus as He was approaching Jerusalem and they hailed Him as the King of Israel who was coming in the name of the Lord. (John 12:12,13) In mass they were full of joy and excitement and expectation. Here, they believed, was the One who was going to solve their problems and free them from the tyranny of the Romans. Jesus was going to DO for THEM. Of course they were singing His praises. Of course they were pledging allegiance to Him. For Jesus was going to make their lives better. He was going to help them. He was going to deliver their nation. Or so they thought.

Yet just a few days later, as they gathered to choose a prisoner for Pilate to release (Matt. 27:15-17), how easily these Christ-worshippers’ religious leaders were able to persuade them to turn and hate Jesus. (v. 20) How easily they were deceived by their chief priests who stirred them up to not only choose to have the murderer Barabbas released, but to insist that Jesus was worthy of crucifixion! (Mark 15:11-14) What a prime example of the hideousness of ignorantly following evil authority.

So, wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate gave Jesus over to be crucified. (Mark 15:15)

What about us? Oh, we’re not barbaric like that. We would never choose to crucify Christ, would we?

Let’s examine that. Jesus says in Luke 8:13 that there are people who hear the Word and receive it with joy. They believe it. They receive it. They accept it. With joy. But in the same verse we read that these people have no root. Thus they do not develop stability. They have nothing in themselves through which to draw spiritual nourishment and so they are able to believe only for a while. They have no ability to withstand trials and they fall away. (same verse) Others, similarly, believe but are stunted, allowing worldliness to keep them from producing fruit. (v. 14)

But in God’s opinion, what is participation with worldliness? It is to be void of God and eternal life. (1 John 2:15-17) Moreover it is to make oneself God’s enemy. (James 4:4) It is to hate God. (same verse) Why is friendship with the world so detestable to the Lord? It is because being friends with the world is sin and leads only to more sin. The world is all about lust, greed, perversion, deceit, and all else that is contrary to God who is Love. There is no way to walk in agreement with both of them. They are opposites.

So how do our “Christian” leaders persuade us to crucify Christ? And how do we rationalize away that we are doing so? It’s done through sin and treating sin lightly –as if it is an acceptable thing to continue to do.

The entire chapter of Isaiah 53 describes what Christ did for us on the cross. In verse 5 it says, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” This is about the atonement, and even though the word “crucify” is absent, we know that it is saying that our sins are what crucified Christ. We also can see from 55:7 that God will freely pardon the person who turns to the Lord by forsaking his sinful ways and thoughts.

Such a person undergoes what Rom. 6:6 explains as having happened: Our old self was crucified with Christ so that sin’s power would be extinguished. Verse 2 says, “We died to sin.” Rom. 7:4 says we “also died to the law through the body of Christ.” Gal. 6:14 says that through the cross we’ve been crucified to the world. Gal. 2:20 confirms that we’ve been crucified to Self, and that it is therefore Christ living His life through us. Gal. 5:24 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” Rom. 8:9 says that those who belong to Christ are controlled, not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit.

We can see then that in being pardoned by the Lord, we underwent a baptism. It was a baptism into His death (Rom. 6:4) and a resurrection to live a new life. (same verse) It was a baptism into Christ (Gal. 3:27) so as to be “clothed with Christ.” (same verse) In this baptism we took “the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” (1 Peter 3:21) By partaking of Christ’s suffering, we take on His attitude and so are done with sin (4:1), “living the rest of our earthly lives, not for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” (See v. 2)

But! What about the teaching and conduct that tolerates a continuation in sin? Does God’s Word not teach we are to be done with sin? It absolutely does. 1 John 3:5 says that Christ “appeared so that He might take away our sins.” Verse 6 says, “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning.” Verse 9 says we will not keep on sinning because God’s own nature is in us. 1 Peter 2:24, in referring to the Isaiah 53 chapter, says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”

So, we must understand that what has happened is this: Christ Jesus paid (paid the ransom / paid the debt) to heal and free everyone from sin, its power, and its penalty. Whoever believes this takes the necessary action. However, we continue to have free choice. This freedom to continually choose (a necessity unless God wanted robots) is what makes us vulnerable to listen to lies, temptations, and false doctrines. If we keep listening to those, we will start believing those, not the Truth. When that happens, we are on the path of sin, and thus the delusion, the blinding, the darkening of the mind, continues to strengthen its grip. If we keep sinning, we have definitely turned from Christ and must be considered unfaithful to Him. If we continue to walk in a lifestyle of sin, Christ’s sacrifice no longer covers us and we are headed for Hell. (Heb. 10:26,27) We have shown Christ and the Spirit utter contempt. (v. 29) This is apostasy and it is to crucify Christ all over again, subject Him to public disgrace, and never again be able to come back to repentance. (Heb. 6:4-6)

To crucify Christ all over again does not mean He dies again, for “Christ died for sins once for all.” (1 Peter 3:18) Instead it means that, for ourselves, we’ve negated the pardon that once was ours. (Matt. 18:32-34 & 24:45-51)

To continue to deliberately sin is to trample Christ, insult the Spirit, and show contempt toward the blood of the covenant that sanctified (cleansed and consecrated) us. (Heb. 10:29) This is hatred toward God. Yet how many “Christians” are in deep hypocrisy as their actions show God this hatred, even while their mouths exclaim exuberance over Him? Such “Christians” are no better than the crowds who hailed Jesus one day, and a few days later were murdering Him.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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