We think up is fantastic. We want up. We worship up – especially when it coincides with our stock, our reputation, our health, our followership, our income – and all the other things we want to see grow up and thrive… like our kids. Jesus’ UP side of His horrible DOWN was astounding. Literally, unbelievable – even by those who knew Him best. And it was kinda understated – not like fire from a volcano. It was little sightings from here, then from there… hints. But the UP never went back down. To those who loved Him and watched Him die – it was vindication for staying in the game – even when it got really difficult to believe.
Funny, isn’t it? In a strange way – it’s still a little hidden. It’s unmistakable with history in two big chunks. How history has been re-written by those who have known Him, believed in Him and loved as He said to love. His resurrection is still in some ways quite subtle. It’s obvious – but still requires faith. And Jesus still asks the same question; Do you trust me? WILL you trust me  now and forever? See, the down side of following Jesus,  even though He defied death, split history and changed the world – is that it will never be easy!


Six days before Jesus died, He seemed to make a comeback in the polls. Maybe He could still be President, or Prime Minister – or King  or Something! There was this big splashy entrance into Jerusalem that literally shook the city! It even had the religious professionals shaken up, thinking, “Oh, oh! I think we targeted the wrong man!  Maybe we’re the targets!” And then, Jesus poked the eagle – you know, the religious professionals and their guiding star. The Eagle – Rome! And He did it by prodding one of the best money-makers in Jerusalem. The TempleA few days later, there was a voice from Heaven that praised Jesus – and it raised the question; was it God, was it an Angel – or was it just thunder? And that really is the question… and still is?


Most people seem to be driven by the desire to go up, to rise in popularity, money and power as quickly as possible. The trip down was clearly not all that attractive to Jesus closest followers – or people in general. People wanted to be healed and all and wanted their citizens demon-free. After all, troubled neighbours are disturbing and affect property values. But when someone tells you they’re going down – and there’s going to be pain for everyone – that’s not a great recruitment strategy. Jesus’ pronouncement that people who tried to save their lives – would lose their souls? Not popular! It all seemed so… humiliating!