Reaching a Crossroads: Pastor discusses turning points that lead to Jesus’ crucifixion
SCOTTSBLUFF — As the Holy Week continues and the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection comes Sunday, pastors are sharing a message about the life of Jesus as part of annual Holy Week Services.
On Thursday over the lunch hour, people congregated in the Midwest Theater as Calvary Memorial Church pastor Gary Hashley shared a message about crossroads.
Hashley opened his message with a story of a 19-year-old waitress from Daytona Beach, Florida, who was enjoying a typical morning that put her at a crossroads.
“A crossroads, you know one of those points where you have to make a decision,” he said. “You have to come to ‘This is what I’m going to do.’”
Hanna Pignato was working at Joe’s Crab Shack when she noticed a group of people standing on the pier all looking in the same direction. There was an 8-year-old boy caught in a rip current. Thinking of her little sister, she jumped off the pier to help the boy. In the process, she broke her back and her foot. Despite being incapacitated, Pignato was able to rescue the boy.
“She was at that crossroads of ‘what do I do?’” Hashley said. “Everybody else was just looking, but she found in herself that she couldn’t just look. She had to do something.”
Jesus Christ and his disciples also faced crossroads in the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. Israel, as a nation, was at a crossroads. For the Pharisees, their crossroads came at the point when people began to follow Christ over the king, so they decided to get rid of Christ.
Jesus’ crossroads came as he predicted his death.
In John 12:27 Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”
While he could have called on the legions of angels and ascended to Heaven, Christ did not, because that’s why the Father sent Him.
Pilate, the Roman governor, also faced a crossroads as he realized the trespasses against Christ were wrong, but if he realized Jesus, then he would betray the king.
“He realizes there is no reason to crucify this guy. There is no reason let them get away with what they want to do, but then they that Caesar is going to give Pilate a problem, so he makes a decision. His decision was in essence to wimp out and to let them take Jesus.”
Judas, who was a follower of Jesus, faced a crossroads when he decided where he stood as a follower of Christ.
“He had seen Jesus at work, in action. He had heard what Jesus said and he saw what Jesus did,” Hashley said.
Despite seeing the glory of God through the actions of Jesus, Judas rejected him.
At the last supper, Jesus tells that one of the disciples will betray him. Looking at John 13:21-32, Judas was seated as an honored guest for the meal and received a piece of dipped bread from Jesus.
“I wonder if it was one last effort to win Judas over because he seated him as a honored guest and he treated him as a honored guest,” said Hashley.
Judas’ decision to betray Jesus was paid with his hidden heart of greed as he received pieces of silver.
From the message, Hashley said two thoughts came to the forefront: Judas made his decision about where his heart was with Jesus and we all face our crossroad decisions about what we will do with Jesus.
Hashley said, “He offers forgiveness. He offers eternal life, but we have to accept it. We have to believe it and we have to choose Jesus.”
Holy Week Services will wrap up Friday, April 19 from from 12:05 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Midwest Theater. The Friday gospel lesson will be given by Alex Henwood, special music will be performed by Riversong Chancel Singers and the message will be given by Frontier School of the Bible’s Pastor Mike Meysenburg.