Friday, March 21, 2008
Crowds, Waving Palm Fronds, Raising Angry Fists
I watched from the audience. Never a participant - acting isn't my thing. The costumes, the makeup, I loved watching it all. I imagined, if I was brave enough to join the group, what part would I choose? One with no lines for sure! A pretty costume with an exotic headdress maybe. I'd enjoy being part of the scene from the marketplace, everyone hawking their wares at once, as they sang the chorus, with the feel of one of those old musicals, except they aren't singing about washing a man out of their hair, or the hills being alive with the sound of music...

When the play spilled over into the area where the audience sat, with Jesus leading the way, and the crowds closing in, waving their palm leaves and shouting 'Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest', oh I'd love to be a part of that too. Jesus with a gentle smile on his face, waving to the people who were pressing in on him for just a touch of his cloak. I could do that!

Then Pontious Pilate stood before the crowd. He looked over them and asked, 'What shall I do then, with Jesus who is called the Christ?"

'Crucify him!' they answer.

'Why? What crime has he committed?

They don't answer (for there is none), but simply shout, 'all the louder, 'Crucify Him!'

Sitting in that audience I would zone in on a face or two, the same ones who had just been waving fronds a scene or two before, and now they were angry, accusing, literally screaming for blood. They had to play both parts. I'd think, 'I don't want that part, I can't play that part. I could wave the fronds, but surely if I lived back then, I wouldn't be the one in the crowd screaming 'Crucify'. Surely I would love him, follow him....

Ultimately even those who followed him, then stood at the foot of the cross, heartbroken, voted 'crucify'. By committing a single sin, I voted for Him to pay the price. Even if my lips would not have shouted it, my heart would have. Because I needed someone to pay the price.

'ALL the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Then he released Barabbas, but he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified."

I'm the one waving the fronds; I'm surely also part of 'ALL the people', I'm standing there with a raised angry fist, shouting 'Crucify!' Whether I want to play that part in a play or not, I am that (wo)man. No pretty headdress, or lively background chorus can change that.

"...for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3:23-24. In a couple of days I'll celebrate that He willingly paid the price, conquered death, rose again. For today I want to remember who I am, what I am. I'm in that angry crowd.


  posted at 7:36 AM

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