Yes, it’s true! Play-Doh Jesus has become very popular today. It also seems to be a topic of both discussion and debate among Christians. What do you think about Play-Doh Jesus? What does Jesus think about it?
As most of you know, this is Passion Week, a time when Christians look back and remember the final week in the life and ministry of Jesus. It was the time when He made His high profile triumphal entry into Jerusalem (c.f. Luke 19:28-38). A time when He cleared out the temple and exposed the religious hypocrisy that was taking place. (c.f. Luke 19:45-48) Of course, it was also the week when Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose from the grave on Sunday. But there is one topic that often gets overlooked during our Passion Week reflections, and that is the popularity of a Play-Doh Jesus.
Yes, that’s right! Jesus was extremely popular when he entered Jerusalem on a colt, being cheered and admired by thousands of people on Palm Sunday. But Jesus was also popular and condemned by the same crowd five days later calling for His crucifixion. Why? What changed? Well, Jesus wouldn’t allow the crowds to mold and shape Him into their image. That’s right, Jesus wouldn’t allow them to treat Him like Play-Doh!
The reason the crowds were cheering on Palm Sunday is because they wanted a Jesus who would deliver them from the oppression of Rome. Remember, this was taking place during the Jewish Passover festival when they were remembering how Moses had delivered them from Egypt. So if Jesus can perform miracles, He must be able to deliver them from Rome. Right?
As a result, the Palm Sunday celebration was not a worship service, it was a political convention and they were nominating King Jesus as their candidate. But it only took a few days for the crowd to realize that Jesus had no intention of being their political candidate. This is when their cheers turned to sneers and shouts of “save us” turned to “crucify him” (Mark 15:12-15).
You see Jesus came for one reason and one reason only, to pay for our sins on the cross so you and I can receive God’s forgiveness and spend eternity with Him. Listen the words of Jesus….
John 3:16-18 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Jesus came to deal with our sinful condition and eternal risk of Heaven vs. Hell. He came to offer you the hope of heaven when you trust Him as your Lord and Savior and what He has done for you on the cross (see my blog post, Hell No). Jesus didn’t come to solve all of your daily problems or to make you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous. You will be hard pressed to find any support or examples of this taking place in the Bible. If fact, just the opposite is true requiring struggling and suffering Christians to rely on the Lord for strength.
Jesus didn’t come to be molded and shaped into our image. He came to mold and shape us into His image.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
So we must be very careful when it comes to “following” Jesus, making sure we aren’t asking Him to follow us. You must come to Him with a surrendered heart, a willingness to obey His word (i.e. the Bible), seeking His plan for your life. This is what it means to be a Christian and follow the Lord.
So beware of buying into Play-Doh Jesus. Don’t try to mold and shape the Savior of the world into your image and likeness. It is will never work and God won’t let it happen!
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