Good Friday

John 19:16-22

Pilate only wanted Jesus to be an example;
             the Jewish Leaders wanted him dead.
Pilate wanted security and stability;
             the Jewish Leaders wanted to protect the status quo
the People wanted a “King of the Jews”;
            Jesus wasn’t what they expected
the People wanted security and stability;
            Jesus brought them to themselves

Pilate got it right Jesus is an example … of love, heart, spirit;
            do we the people understand
 the Jewish Leaders couldn’t stop the revolution of heart and spirit; 
            the world still doesn’t get it
the People are still looking for a “King of the Jews”;
           Jesus still isn’t what they expect
Who plays Pilate and Jewish leaders today; what cross will Jesus hang on

What is it that I want from Jesus;
           am I Pilate, the People, the Jewish Leaders?
What are my expectations of Jesus;
            on what cross do I hang Jesus?
Is security and stability enough; 
            do I just want the status quo?
Can Jesus brings me to myself;  
            am I able to join the revolution of heart and spirit?

(c) Ruth Jewell, April 2, 2010

Reading todays scripture I was struck at the expectations that led to the Crucifixion.  Pilate just wanted to keep the peace for his boss back home in Rome.  Like any typical occupying foreigner Pilate didn’t understand, or care to understand, the culture he was sent to govern.  Why should he, afterall he was temporary, a transient, only in Palestine until something better came up back home.  All he wanted was the people to remain quiet and subservient to Mother Rome because she knows best.  

Jewish leaders, on the other hand, had a relatively good thing going.  Yes they might not have been able to worship just as they wanted, and that would have been irritating.  But if you want to survive, and survive well, then you must make compromises.  So what the Roman governors held on to our ritual objects, hey they’re safe and we get them when we want them.  Ok, so we have to grovel a bit, but, if groveling means I can feed my family and live in a nice house and have some money to spend that’s the way it is.  If I resist then I end up just like those street people, hungry, dirty, no place to live, that ‘ain’t going to happen.’

So what did the ‘street people’ expect?  Well they wanted a warrior Messiah, some who would come in and get rid of their oppressors for them.  It would work best if this Messiah could be divinely gifted and all he had to do was wave his magic staff and plagues and fire would rain down on the Romans and their Lackeys while they stayed in their homes with lambs blood on the door.  Thank you very much!

Did any of these people get what they expected, NO!  The revolution of the heart and spirit came anyway, the Jewish Leaders had their precious status quo upset and the people discovered that God wasn’t going to hand them life on a platter!  Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?  Can you see parallels in the way people are behaving today.  We still have rulers and leaders that want peace and stability what ever the cost, we still have people who can’t give up their comfortable status quo for something uncertain, but more meaningful, and we still have people who expect that Jesus will give them the good life with no effort on their part. 

When will we learn, are we even able to learn?  Why is that only a few understand and even fewer follow?  I don’t have answers, I have only questions and today, on Good Friday, as I read the story of the trial and Crucifixion I wonder if Easter Sunday will ever come.  I don’t mean the Easter at the end of our Lenten journey, this is how we remember the sacrifice we must live.  I’m talking about EASTER when the Christ rises in us all and we truly begin to live as HE taught!    OK, you’re right, I’m trying to dictate to God, I want EASTER now, and telling God that my patience is running thin, only makes her laugh.  My wants and expectations aren’t really the issue here, in because I haven’t lived up the  teachings of Jesus then I am one of the broken cogs slowing things down.  God has her own blueprint for success and while she won’t really complain when I ‘offer’ my help it really gums up the works.  I guess I need to be one of the people who starts living the teachings, and letting my expectation be God’s.  Darn, I think I just answered my questions.

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