Stir ‘Em Up

Good Friday 2022 + Luke 23:1-5

The accusation made against Jesus was that “he stirred up people” (Luke 23:5).

But, why were the people stirred up? Allow me to offer some thoughts on this question.

They were stirred up because Jesus had ushered in the Kingdom of God in their time and space (Mark 1:15). They saw it with their eyes. They felt it in their hearts. They knew it in their souls. They experienced it with his touch. For here was a man, says the woman at the well, “who told me everything I did.” (John 4:39). He stirred people up because he knew people, he was with people, he loved people in a way they had never been loved.

People were stirred up because they had encountered the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15) and He had come to bring heaven back to earth.

Yet here is this pot stirrer, who just spent the night in jail, now in chains with blood oozing out of his back as his misplaced tendons, exposed bone and shredded flesh made him look like a dead man walking.

Is this why he stirred people up? So he could be mocked and spit upon? Did he just stir people up to let them down? Is he a showboater? Why did he stir people up and then willingly go to a cross? Seems antithetical to stir folks up and then give yourself over to authorities to be hung on a cross.

So what’s the deal?

Jesus stirred up folks, because he knew he would be crucified, die, be buried, rise and go up to the Father. 

He would leave though, not a bunch of folks, barely awake, with a distant memory of Jesus’ legacy, no, a bunch of folks wide awake to the Spirit of God, stirred up by the love of God to tell the world about the true God and that this God so loved the world that he gave his Son.

Jesus, in his public ministry preached, healed, and taught. Those things stirred up people, however, it’s not just those things that still have us stirred up today, nearly 2000 years later. We are stirred up today because of Good Friday.

The teachings show us how to live.

The healings show us what’s possible and what to expect.

The preachings inspire us and help us consider.

Good Friday though? 

On Good Friday, he humbled himself by being obedient to death on a tree (Philippians 2:8), a cursed tree where he was nailed to a place reserved for runaway slaves and rebels. There he was certainly high and lifted up, but not in the form of glory, but in the form of mockery and humiliation.

He was not quickly and kindly beheaded like his cousin John the Baptist, he was slowly and mercilessly fixed to a cross for a long slow death filled with shame, nakedness and pain – the lowest, most horrific form of capital punishment. 19 wright

What Jesus humbled himself towards on Good Friday should stir us up still today. So how about today, Good Friday 2022, let’s be stirred up to consider and survey the wondrous cross.

Because the aftermath of the wondrous cross is a people not merely stirred up by teachings, healings, and preachings but stirred up because the man who taught, healed, and proclaimed – suffered for the world, died for the world, was buried for the world and rose for the sake of the world, that the world might be saved, that the world might be stirred up in God’s great love.

Question for Reflection

How do you survey the wondrous cross and how does that stir you up?

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