DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why was Jesus very popular one day, and just a few days later everyone turned against him and demanded he be crucified? Why did they become so hostile? — D.C.
DEAR D.C.: One reason some people turned against Jesus is because he refused to become their king. In those days, the Jewish nation was under the brutal control of the Roman Empire, and some hoped Jesus would lead a revolt and take political control. But Jesus refused, because God had sent him into the world to become a different kind of king, one who would rule over our hearts and minds.
As he told Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
But others turned against Jesus because they refused to believe he was who he claimed to be: the divine savior, sent from heaven to save us from our sins. They knew that if he really was the savior, then they’d have to repent and change their ways, and they didn’t want to do this. Even in the last hours before his condemnation and death, the crowd demanded that a notorious murderer be freed, and that Jesus be put to death in his place (see Luke 23:18-25).
The real issue, however, is this: Why do people still turn against Jesus? By his resurrection (which we’ll celebrate in only a few days) he proved beyond all doubt that he is the savior, sent by God to make our forgiveness possible — yet millions still ignore him and reject him every day.
Don’t be one of them. Instead, realize what Jesus did for you through his death and resurrection, and by faith give your life to him. Jesus’ promise is true: “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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