For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



John 12:1-13

   1 Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this perfume not sold for [a]three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he (H)had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7 Therefore Jesus said, "Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial 8 "For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me." 9 The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus. 12 On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel."

   The King of Israel!! the huge crowd shouted. Think about that, they did so! They "believed" accordingly, that He was Messiah.
   It was a great atmosphere in favour of Jesus in Israel at this point. His opponents were, as "swept of the ground," as it goes by the name of. But after some
years the atmosphere turned? No, and let us seriously lay to heart - already a few days later, the huge crowd claimed His life, with a fanatical intensity.

   This is what for instance the politicians sets on, and also others whom will promote something in the society - and then one speaks about to change peoples' attitudes and turn over the public opinion and the like. But it appears rather often like to want to ride a ferocious bull. High up and great atmosphere, and so turned down by people most. The atmosphere has turned.

   The sad thing is, that it so often, also in Christian coherence, stakes on this - to win peoples' (not reborns) hearts for what we are working at. One stakes on that the "atmosphere" shall be in our favour. Then I‘m afraid one soon will get to learn something else.

   It is certainly not least this phenomenon the Scripture speaks of, when it describes the heathen world and the pagans, as a troubled ocean and a murmuring river. In other words this troubled, inconstant - it shifts all the time. Today it is this ism that is popular, tomorrow another, and in the last days - each man his own God. One unites only in this - the animosity against Him whom says: This is the truth! Here goes the way! I am...!
The Word of God, which speaks: "This and nothing else" - that is what this "troubled ocean cannot bear."

   It is just that fact - when we are reading this text - we do not read about the heathens, but about Israel, Gods own people! They were same way!

   Jesus says about Himself: I am the light of the world! And several other places in Gods word He is called the light.
   We know, that when the light gets switched-on in a room, then it also reveals to all whom is not blind, what the room
really contains. Earlier on you could make certain thoughts by going round and "feel on things," but now you do not have to do so, because the light was switched-on and everything is in the daylight.
   And what do we see here? We are seeing Israel’s
true situation. That, which was hidden behind their worship, behind their synagogue - and templegoing, behind their charities, prayers and sacrifices. They were become as the heathens, and that which reveals this is Jesus’ person.
   There were no knowledge of God, no acknowledgement of God in their hearts and conscience - it was just a lot of outer doings, and inner exercises they were engaged in, in that belief and view that this
was, and should be, to their benefit, in one or the other way.
   And when Jesus then comes among them, and do not correspond to their expectations
(about own winnings), do not gives them the laud and honour they meant to have claim on because of their contribution, but on the contrary spoke to them about conversion, this we are witnessing here, happens - "the atmosphere," this beast, turns against Him.
   "Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion... For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots."
(Psalm. 22, 12 - 13; 16 - 18).
   Who should supposed that it was
this that actually filled the crowd which shouted: "Our Saviour!" and: "Blessed is He!" But He, The Light and The Truth, knew it all the time.
   He also knows
your heart. Mouth and hands doings do not deceive Him! Therefore the call sounds, also today: "Come to Him, as you are!"

   What about you - when a preacher comes - do you want him to talk commendatory and coaxing words to you, so you full of good "atmosphere," willingly gives well in the collect too - or are you hoping that he will speak a word of truth from the Lord unto you, so that you could find way to conversion and be saved, if that was necessary? Or maybe you already have made up your opinion, about how your condition and situation is, and simply will have the preacher’s certification at that?

   It was not all in Israel who were slaves under "the atmosphere"/the spirit of the age, but had gotten anchoring up on more definite and deeper ground. We also meet them in the text earlier in this same chapter. And it is said so fine about them: "They made Him a supper there" (v.2), and I am by no means the least in doubt about where the weight shall be laid in this verse, to acknowledge the truth about them - for Him!
   And Martha - whom He earlier on had have to reprimand, for an eagerness without wit -
waited them still, but now it was, surely enough, really for Him! Now it was no longer the service for Him, but Jesus Himself whom was centre.

   And so have we the sister, Mary, she who sat by Jesus' feet and listened to His words. Here we are seeing the fruit of it. The dearest she owns, she pours out over Him. (v.3).
   And there was Lazarus sitting, so glad - he who Jesus had raised up from the dead. Hasn't Jesus raised us all from the dead, basically? All we who is called by His name? From spiritual death, spiritual darkness and the hopelessness.

   We shall especially notice one thing: when it comes to this raised one - it was dark forces working, set on turn off this life, because it was a life of Jesus, and with that a testimony about His goodness and power. (v.10-11).
   It is unfortunately not different today.

   Also within the flock, which had prepared a dinner for Him, there was one, who had other benefits by following Jesus, than Jesus Himself: Judas! He had consolidated himself power over the chest, presumably by offer himself, to serve Jesus in this manner. It can also be other benefits by being with in a Christian activity. Let us test ourselves, the individual.

   But these, who really had made a feast, for Him, do you believe they were thinking thoughts like: "I shall wonder, if I myself really is saved?" "Is it really right with me in my relationship with Jesus?" and the like. No, I do not think so - they were concerned with Jesus, and that was enough for them.
   Certainly it is so: The secret is to see Him! When He get obscure for us, that is when glance turns more and more towards ourselves. And what consolation and encouragement should it be to find there, for whoever is of the truth?
   A constantly temptation, a sin that you continually are falling in, can darken Jesus for you - but also what, as far as it goes, is of good, as for instance the service He might have called you to, a gift of grace you have gotten, or the like. The thing is simply that, that regardless if it is good or evil which calls on your attention - if you loose Jesus, then you loose everything.
   You cannot one day (on the judgement day) tread before - and lay your service, or a gift of grace for instance, on His altar. It is written about a great many, who shall do exactly that, but get to hear from Jesus‘ own mouth: "I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Mat. 7:23).
   What wrong had they actually done? They had chosen their own way, in stead of receiving the Gospel. It did not matter, if what they had chosen, as far as it goes, was good or evil, because what this reveals is, that they in the reality had stood against the Word of God, which convinces about sin and grace. Grace and righteousness is given unto us only because of Jesus.

   These whom were laying plans about, not only to kill Jesus, but also every trace after Him, and with that also Lazarus - they stood daily in the temple and was praying to God! And they continued with it, after having done this.
   But it is nevertheless true, the testimony the Jews brings about Jesus here: "
Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel!" (v.13). It had just not gotten adopted in- and seized their heart on such a manner that it could withstand "the change of atmosphere." As sheep without a shepherd!


Holy Bible, New American Standard Version