My father was not a stingy person. Not by any means. My parents gave generously to many people and many causes, especially the church and Christian education. They were always ready to help someone in genuine need.
But even so, Father did not like spending. One particular scenario played out over and over again in our home. Mother goes out shopping. She finds things that are on sale, and decides that she needs lots and lots and lots of them. After all, they are on sale!
When she comes home, she (of course) has to brag about how much she saved. “You did not save money,” Father would shout. “Why do you think that when you buy all these things we don’t need you have saved money? You didn’t save money, you spent it!” I can still hear him ranting.
It’s no wonder that she really believed she had saved. When leaving a grocery store last week, the final words of the teller were, “Today you saved two dollars and thirty cents.” Really? My ‘savings’ were even printed at the bottom of the receipt. But the real bottom line, the line just above “You saved. . . ,” showed the TRUE picture. I had spent over twenty dollars.
This is Holy Week. We are between Palm Sunday and Good Friday; between the day Jesus was escorted into Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna, Hosanna” and the day he was condemned to die by the same crowd shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him.” That same Jerusalem crowd. The crowd was apparently full of people who were “following the crowd.” We often live with an illusion that we would have responded differently. I am not so sure.
Then what about Peter? Judas? The other ten disciples? None of them planned to betray Jesus. But they were caught off guard. Judas was the first to repent of what he had done, but could not comprehend that forgiveness could be granted, so he buckled under the weight of his guilt. Second only to Judas, Peter tends to get most of the ‘bad press’ among the disciples. He had been warned that he would deny Jesus, and despite his objections, he did that very thing. Notice also Matthew’s report: “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled” (Mt 26:56).
What about me? Would I also be among those who deny Jesus? Probably, except for His grace.
Have a blessed Easter!