Background: Matthew 21:1-11, John 12:12-19, Matthew 27:11-26, 55-56, John 19:25

Key: The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” Matthew 27:21-22 ESV

Summary:

Have you ever felt abandoned? Imagine that you are the winner of a contest. You can hardly go from place to place because it seems everyone wants to be in the same space as you. People are asking for your picture, saying wonderful things about you, and wondering what you will do next. However, the following week, another contestant accuses you of cheating. You know you did not, but before you can defend yourself, it is on the news. No one is interested in hearing your side of the story. Instead of compliments, you hear phrases like “I never did really like him (her), I heard….” It is as if people are looking for ways to condemn you. No one seems interested in the truth. The other contestant was willing to do anything to win including set you up. However, where are the friends who promised to stand by you?

Prior to Jesus’s arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, he made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem. He told his disciples to go get a donkey’s colt for him to use. They brought the colt to Jesus, and they laid their garments on the animal’s back, treating Jesus as a king. This fulfilled an ancient prophecy. As Jesus rode toward the city, many people in the crowd laid out their cloaks in the road along with palm tree branches, making a carpet for the animal to walk on. As Jesus passed by, they shouted, “Hosanna!”. They blessed his name and called him the sent one. Where did this crowd come from? The crowd formed because they had heard of the many miracles Jesus had done. Through the crowd, Jesus continued to ride, arriving in the city celebrated. The Pharisees saw this and were jealous. The people followed Jesus. “Where was their gain?” they questioned. They plotted to bring Jesus’s influence to an end.

The Pharisees had Jesus arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.  After Jesus was arrested, the Pharisees took him to the governor, Pilate. They accused Jesus of many things.  Pilate was surprised that Jesus did not speak to defend himself.  Pilate knew the religious leaders brought Jesus before him because they were jealous. Pilate found that Jesus had done nothing wrong. However, at the governor’s feast, Pilate gave the crowd a choice. “Who should I release? Jesus or Barabbas?” Though a known criminal, the Pharisees influenced the crowd to request Barabbas’s release.  When Pilate asked what he should do with Jesus, the crowd shouted, “Crucify him!”  Pilate recognized that a riot was forming. He took water and washed his hands. He told the crowd, “I’m innocent of this man’s blood,” and released Jesus for crucifixion. In all of this, where were the people who cared?

At the cross, his disciple John stood to watch what would come next. Along with John stood Jesus’s mother, her sister, Mary Magdalene, and the mother of his disciples James and John, the sons of Zebedee. In the distance stood many other women who had followed him, but where was everyone else? Where were the ones who shouted Hosanna? Where were the other disciples? Though it was Jesus’s mission to go to the cross, where were those who could claim his innocence? How did Jesus get from Hosanna to crucify him?

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever felt abandoned? How did it feel?

  2. The word or phrase hosanna means to save us. What were the people expecting Jesus to do? Did he do it?

  3. The Pharisees were jealous that Jesus had more influence than them. They were so jealous that they were willing to have him killed. What is a modern-day example of this type of attitude and behavior?

  4. Why do you think Jesus never defended himself when he was accused?

  5. Why do you think Pilate allowed Jesus to remain in custody though he knew he was innocent?

  6. Though Pilate washed his hands, did that take away his responsibility in Jesus’s being unjustly crucified?

  7. Why do people abandon you in times of trouble even if you are innocent?

  8. How did Jesus get from Hosanna to crucify him?

  9. It was always Jesus’s mission to go to the cross, what could the others had done if they were unable to stop him from dying?

  10. Based on today’s story, how will your attitude change?

What does the bible say?

  1. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 ESV

  2. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

  3. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 ESV

Life Application

  1. Even when you feel you cannot change a situation, stand for what is right.

  2. Who you are should not change for the crowd.

  3. Though people abandon you, God never will. Turn to Him in times of trouble.

 

 

man in green coat standing beside man in brown and red stripe shirt

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