“The mob is fickle…”

I love movies, all kinds, but especially ones that challenge my thinking, inspire me or that I can identify a part of me within a character. Many times there are particular pieces of dialog that really resonate and stick with me long after the movie has ended.

In the movie “Gladiator”, starring Russell Crowe, there is a scene where Maximus, known only as ‘the Spaniard’, has won over the crowd filled colosseum that has assembled to see a barbaric fight to the death, much to the perturbation of Emperor Commodus. Watching with contempt and jealousy as the crowd adulated over the ‘Spaniard’; Commodus laments his displeasure to his sister who responds, “The mob is fickle brother; he’ll be forgotten in a month.” This quote came to my mind as I contemplated the events of Holy Week.

Holy Week is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, and the truth of this quote is played out in the Gospels. As Jesus entered Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover crowds of people had gathered, shouting praises, singing Hosanna, and declaring Jesus as King. How quickly the crowd turned to a violent mob only a few days later, hurling insults, slurs and shouting crucify him, crucify him!

How can this be? Is there something about the anonymity of being in a crowd that emboldens the basest of actions? Is reason, integrity and righteousness so easily abandoned in the midst of angry emotion? Is silence in the face of injustice an act of complicity? There is no anonymity with God, He sees everyone (Hebrews 4:13). The human heart is fickle, deceitful and easily corrupted. (Hosea 10:2) (Jeremiah 17:9)

There is hope for this sad sinful condition of the human heart; it is the very reason that Christ voluntarily gave up His life, enduring the torture of flogging and allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross. It is His unfathomable love for us that provides a way to be reconciled to God. If we are willing to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, to surrender our will and our lives to His control and plan, He will remove our stony sinful heart and give us a new heart! (Ezekiel 36:26-28)

It is only with this new heart and the Spirit of Christ reigning within me that I will have a chance to stand against the mob. To allow myself to be counted for Christ rather than try and stay anonymous. To publicly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, even if doing so means losing everything . Jesus gave His life for me so that I may have life everlasting! (John 3:16).

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