The crowds can be a powerful force and they can make us do things we normally would not do.You can call it whatever you want: peer pressure, fitting in, the status quo.Whatever you name it, the fact is that going against the crowd can seem crazy.Our readings today portray this power in a profound way.
Besides Jesus, there is one character that is consistent in both passages and that character is the crowd.Matthew often mentions the crowd or the multitude in his gospel and he does so with a specific purpose in mind: to show us how the crowds cannot always be trusted.In the first reading we see how the crowds were shouting Hosanna in the highest, praising Jesus.Six chapters later, the crowds were now shouting Crucify Him! Yes, like the crowds from 2000 years ago, the crowds today can be just as fickle. Although fickle, the power of the crowd is hard to resist. This is evident by the fact that we live in a time where people are starving for meaning and acceptance and the power of the crowd is so great that we can sometimes sell our souls just to feel like we belong somewhere.
The crowds in Matthews’s gospel snuff out Jesus in the end and we eventually read of the tragic death of this beautiful man.However, you and I know that the story doesn’t end there.We read of those brave women who go back to the tomb to take care of their dear friend one last time.However, instead of sadness and death the women encounter something out of this world, almost cosmic.They experienced and witnessed RESURRECTION!Jesus rising from the dead is God’s message to us that the ways of the crowd, like greed, abuse and hatred are NOT the end.Resurrection tells us that the way of kindness, mercy and love are the way, the truth and the life!