Easter, one of the two biggest days for church attendance all year. It’s funny really, when you stop and think about it. I guess people just tend to feel a greater responsibility to attend church around this time of the year.
It is interesting to observe what took place on Palm Sunday one week before Easter. People came out and laid their coats on the ground for Jesus to ride over, they laid palm branches on the ground for him to walk over. They shouted “Hosanna, Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9) Did they really mean it? I ask that because a week later the crowd is screaming “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Yikes. What changed?
On Palm Sunday they were shouting, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” A week later they were shouting “Crucify! Crucify!” What changed? The people were the same, only the words were different. The same people to cry “Hosanna” were the same people to cry “crucify.” What they said with their lips did not match what they said with their hearts. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:35) Nothing really changed, only their words were different.
I wonder, what are we saying with our hearts? Jesus knew as he rode into Jerusalem the hearts of the people. He knew that in one short week the cry would not be “Hosanna” but rather “Crucify!” Jesus knew. He still knows. He knows our hearts. Whether you attend church every Sunday of the year or just on Easter, God knows your heart, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. I challenge you to attend church. Not to simply check it off as a task completed but to learn more about God, to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, or to grow in your relationship with Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) This “life” that Jesus is talking about does not come from church attendance, it comes from Him. It comes from what He has already done by shedding his blood and taking our place on the cross. Romans 10:9 says “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Attend church this Sunday? Sure that is a good thing to do, but if you attend church without ever believing in your heart as Romans 10:9 says than you are wasting your time. It’s your heart that Jesus is looking at.