But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. (Luke 23:23)
When the angry mobs pull out their pitchforks and torches it’s easier to let them prevail than it is to stand up against them with reason and right thinking. After all, standing up to a mob could be dangerous, and you never know if they may turn on you. Perhaps that’s why Pilate resolved to give the Jews what they demanded: Jesus’ crucifixion.
I wonder how many wrongs have taken place in our individual lives simply because we didn’t want to stand up to the angry mob. Rather than risking our popularity, it’s easier to go with the mob than it is to do what’s actually right. Fearing that we may be their next target, we sacrifice what is good for what is popular. Instead of doing hard things, we humans have a propensity for taking the easy way out.
What if you resolved to doing what’s right, even when it’s hard? What if you were less concerned about the crowds and more concerned about pleasing God? The funny thing about the crowd is that it is so easily swayed in one direction or another. It didn’t take but a few days for them to turn on Jesus – the one they had ushered in with shouts of “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday.
Doing hard things may cost you popularity, fame, and money, but it will allow you to go to sleep at night with a clear conscience. Doing what’s easy and popular may keep people happy with you, but it’s almost never worth the cost. What will you choose?
Father, it’s so easy to take the easy road and to do what’s popular, but such a decision is almost always costly in my relationship with You. Help me to value doing what’s right over doing what’s easy, and give me the courage and strength to do hard things even if they’re not pleasant in the moment.