Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Most of us know the story. Jesus had been taken in the middle of the night and rushed through a series of kangaroo courts, ridicule and beatings. Pilate, not wanting to kill Jesus, sought to release Him if his accusers agreed to accept a substitute. He gave them a choice between Jesus and the notorious thief and murderer, Barabbas. “Give us Barabbas”, they shouted.
What a commentary. It has always been this way. Given the choice, the crowds will always choose Barabbas. Have you ever noticed how you can talk about Buddha, Confucius, the occult, Mohammed, Hitler, Jack‑the‑Ripper, ISIS atrocities, the Pope, Guru Rama‑lama‑dingdong, Nostradamus, the latest Hollywood pervert, “Big Foot”, the Marquis de Sade and even Satan and nobody flinches or even thinks twice? But mention Jesus and there is a collective cringe as the room temperature suddenly drops. People begin to feel awkward and uncomfortable. Some start fidgeting and abruptly change the subject. Just mentioning the name of "Jesus" can throw a wet blanket on any conversation. You can invite anyone under the sun into a conversation but "Jesus" is generally persona‑non‑grata. There have been times when I've even seen this reaction from fellow Christians when the subject of Jesus comes up in a mixed crowd. Has anyone else witnessed this reaction or is it just me?
People will talk about politics, religion, atheism, war, the economy, love, other people, gossip, raunchy jokes, the latest scandal, utter nonsense, useless trivia, lies, superstitions, aliens, sexual perversion, good news, bad news, the weather, conspiracy theories, pet peeves, the price of gas in Bum Steer Nebraska, what the Kardashians think, you name it, but just mention Jesus and see what happens. Even the cockroaches run for cover. The children of this world will embrace almost anyone as long as it isn’t Jesus. It was so on the day they crucified Him and it will be so until the end.
So, what’s my point? I think Jesus said it best; “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels...Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will confess before My Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." - (Mark 8:38; Matthew 10:32 & 33)