“Scenes from the passion” Lent devotion for Thursday, March 11, 2021.
And they all left him and fled. (Mark 14:50)
Gunshots. Screaming. Crowds running for the exits.
Someone yells, “Fire!” Smoke begins filling the room. Everyone starts pushing their way towards the door.
A tornado siren pierces the night. A family quickly heads down the stairs into the basement.
When the disciples realize Jesus is not going to fight the crowd wielding swords and clubs and he’s not going to run away, they quickly flee the scene. Jesus said this moment would come. The scriptures painted a picture of this scene. Just like that, they were gone. In an instant, Jesus is no longer with his friends, but is in the hands of his enemies.
David mentioned just such a moment in a psalm:
Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors,
and an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life. (Psalm 31:11-13)
Just before this everyone wanted to be with Jesus. Some dropped in through the roof, another pushed through the crowd, many brought their children, and one man climbed a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus. Not any more. Now you can’t even give away tickets to see Jesus.
What about you? Are you a Jesus-follower today? Or a flee-er? Are you talking his calls or letting them go to voice mail? Are you listening to what he has to say or has another source of wisdom grabbed your attention? If you saw him in public, would you go up and talk to him or would you pretend like you didn’t notice him?
You and I can be just as hot or cold as any of Jesus’ disciples. This day they fled. But they’ll be back. In just a few days they’ll be running to see the empty tomb. And it won’t be long before we flee to him for his infinite mercy, seeking his grace for the sake of Jesus Christ. It might even be today.
So which direction are you running today? Away from Jesus or towards him?
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, who didn’t flee but endured the cross for me. And thanks for being someone I can run to. Amen.