And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. (Luke 23:27 ESV)
I used to always have this image of Jesus being crucified as a rejected messiah who was only finally revered after his resurrection from death. But Luke’s telling of the crucifixion scene is remarkably different than how I had always imagined it.
Jesus was rejected, but it was by religious people. There was a mob at his farce of a trial, but they were hand picked pretenders with no credibility, no evidence, and no case. As Jesus was led away to his death a throng of people, a great multitude, followed him mourning for the horrors to come.
Jesus was always followed. He gathered people to himself like no other. People were drawn to his life-giving spirit and humble authority. He was fun. He was earnest. He was loved.