One indelible fact of human nature is that we all love a winner. When things are going good, it is easy to root for whoever we believe is the good-guy, a winner. Christ was such a man. On a Palm Sunday when Jesus was entering into Jerusalem, the crowds were plentiful, and many cheered Christ’s triumphal appearance as the true King that he was.
Soon, though, the cheering stopped. Adoration turned to fear and the crowd scattered. Jesus even turned to his disciples and asked if they too, would turn away. Of course, eventually, they all did, leaving him to his self on his own.
You and I would like to think we are better. We like to think since we believe in the resurrection, and eternal life we would fare much better. However, once we believe our ‘winner’ becomes a loser, we rationalize, then change course with our ever present sense of self preservation.
As with everything else, the cheering stops in times of conflict, times of agony, fear, under the sense of betrayal and many, many other excuses we offer as justified reason.
The cheering stops every time we refuse to introduce our friend, Jesus whenever we are around others: when we feel nervous, inadequate and not in the midst of a cheering crowd that shares our values. At those critical moments, and we are all guilty, we turn our backs on our Lord and the gloating calls of the cheering crowd stop.
Truth is: there are times when we are good for our word and other times, when we bail out because we are cowards.
It’s a shame but for many of us, the only time the crowds will cheer for us will be upon our death. At that time, they will lie, stating how so very good we are and how much they will miss us and all the good things we did on this earth. But out of all of that, the only truth that will exist will be the fact that they all told a lie. No, we weren’t good at all. The man that was good was Jesus, and by our own account, we turned our back on him, the same as the crowd.
How horrible Jesus must have felt when even his best friends went another way. How horrible too, it is whenever we do the same within our own life. And of course, it only begins with our savior for we are equally guilty on turning our backs on our friends, family and neighbors.
And when the cheering stops for us, who then will be left to pick us up. Who will be on the sidelines rooting for us out of the gutter? The answer is an easy one: it will be the same Jesus who was there in the beginning. Jesus is who He is despite the cheers, the betrayals, and how we too attempt to bury him when convenience dictates to us that we are only there cheering by our self. Simply one more time When the Cheering Stopped.