Vs 1 … the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole Council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate.
Vs 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them.
Vs 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.
Vs 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
There are a lot of “leaders” here in these pivotal moments leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.
There are the Religious leaders (priests, scribes, elders).
There are Civic leaders (Pilate, soldiers, guards).
And there is “the crowd” mentioned several times.
They all do the wrong thing.
The religious leaders want to “stir up the crowd”.
The civic leaders want to “satisfy the crowd”.
Only one person is mentioned as “respected”, … Joseph of Arimathea.
What did he do?
He “took courage”.
He “looked for the Kingdom of God”.
And he “asked for the body of Jesus”.
Mark gives a dissertation on leadership and the human condition here.
Everyone wants to stand out from the crowd.
Everyone wants to be respected.
Everyone wants to be courageous.
Very few lead by doing all of these simultaneously.
I can “stir up the crowd” by inspiring action I want people to take.
I can “satisfy the crowd” by appeasing people and avoid conflict.
Or I can “take courage” and act individually.
But, more importantly, how often am I the one actually in “the crowd”, though?
The “crowd” is a very fickle & cowardly thing!
One week they shout “hosanna”, the next week they shout “crucify”.
Am I easily “stirred up”?
If I am easily stirred up, then I am easily controlled.
Am I easily “satisfied”?
If I am easily satisfied, then I lack conviction.
To not be part of the crowd, I must “take courage”.
To not be a selfish leader, I must “look for the Kingdom of God”.
The Cowardly Crowd asks for Barabbas.
The Courageous Individual asks for Jesus.
The Cowardly Leader looks to please people.
The Respected Leader looks for the kingdom of God.
Sadly, all of these things unfolded in the nation’s capital last week.
So, this is not an ancient or new phenomenon.
This is a condition of humanity.
Will I satisfy the crowd or Jesus?
Thank you, God, for your Word
Give me courage Holy Spirit
Give me eyes to see your Kingdom
Help me to not be swayed or satisfied be lesser things
In Jesus name,