(April 18, 1990)
Leaving fast traffic at highway speed and changing lanes in the process makes the off-ramps of a California freeway nearly as frightening as the on-ramps. I vividly recall exiting to the right from the always-crowded Ventura. I signaled, looked over my shoulder and began moving into the exit lane. Suddenly I felt compelled to look again. There, just at my rear wheel was a man on a motorcycle, in my blind spot. I shudder to think what would have happened without that second look.
We all have our blind spots. Taking a second look often reveals what we didn’t see the first time, although frequently the blind spot isn’t as simple to get around as the back window frame of a car. Instead it can be personal bias, contrary desires, or prejudice that make us miss something important. In fact, all three played a part in bringing tragedy to some travelers along another road centuries ago. They were moving at much slower speed, but became victims of blind spots just the same.
That “freeway” was the road to Jerusalem. A fellow traveler rode a young colt and the rest of the traffic was made up of people who had come from the city to meet Him, shouting “Hosanna, blessed is the king...” They were ecstatic. Here was the one who would deliver them from the dominion of Rome. But they had a blind spot.
Just before the man on the colt reached the city, He began to weep. Through His tears, He said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace -- but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will... not leave one stone (of your city) on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
Their blindness was soon demonstrated. Within days, that same cheering crowd was demanding “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” They were so determined that He be the king or Messiah who would give them political deliverance, food on their plates and freedom from oppression, that they could not see the obvious. Had they known who He was, they never would have killed Him.
One might wonder how could they miss it? He definitely demonstrated His identity, yet they still couldn’t see. Why not?
Jesus had been asked repeatedly who He was, and at one point He told them He was the Light of the world. When asked again in John 12, His response was, “The light is only with you a little while, walk while you have it, lest darkness comes upon you: for he that walks in darkness doesn’t know where he is going. While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light...” (John 12:34ff)
But the people didn’t respond. They didn’t like what Light revealed. They simply didn’t want to believe He came to deal with their personal sin and need of a personal Savior. His holy life was beginning to get on their nerves. Blind to who He was, blind to what He was offering them, they decided to destroy Him.
When I couldn’t see the cyclist with the first glance, I had time to look again. Certainly God is patient and gives many opportunities for a second look at Christ. However, there comes an end for those who persist in rejecting what He reveals about Him. The Bible says, “GOD sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie...” (2 Thess.2:10-12).
After Jesus’ rejected invitation in John 12, the rest of verse 36 gives this sad epitaph: “After Jesus spoke these things, He left, and HID HIMSELF FROM THEM.” They didn’t have a chance for a second look around their blind spot... and were forever locked in darkness.