Who killed Jesus on Good Friday?

On Good Friday, Catholics and other sects who have decided to follow the Roman calendar of the high feasts will celebrate the day that Jesus died. It’s sad that this day isn’t tied to Passover which is so clearly a part of the story. But that’s another topic…

I’d like to draw your attention back to the people who asked the Romans to kill Jesus. They go by the fancy names of Pharisee, Saducee, and High Priest. These are fancy bible words. Which means that I usually read over them like the names in a Dostoevsky novel. Bt lets take a deeper look. The Pharisees were the religious leaders and the town council and the religious court system in Jerusalem. What is the equivalent today? For the Catholics that would be the Pope and the Bishops. The very people we loo up to for spiritual guidance. For Protestants it is your bishop and your pastor and your favorite television evangelist.

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Let me say this again. The people who killed Jesus were the popular pastors, the high ranking bishops and the most powerful Jew on Jerusalem. So if he were to come today it would be the pope, some big names on TBN and the neighborhood pastor. Does that sink in differently now?

Looking a bit deeper, who was Paul? He was a zealous Pharisee who was paid by this same high council to exterminate, persecute, jail, and kill the followers of Jesus. So that adds your favorite evangelists to the mix of people who were violently against Jesus.

There was also the crowd. The group of you and I who listen more to the religious people than to Jesus and the Father and decide to follow along. We too have shouted for his death.

What was it again that Jesus did so wrong? He went about preaching and teaching to huge crowds. He healed them all of infirmities and demons. He hugged little children and forgave sinners. He never sinned.

I caught myself saying Pharisee slowly and heard fair-I-see. Watching Les Miserables I realized something. The law is always fair, or seem that way, as I see it when I am enforcing it. Yet the fair-I-sees were the ones who killed Jesus. They could not see it his way, they were blinded by fairness or law and not able to see grace.

Likewise I then said Saducee slowly and heard sad-u-see. So these people too were sad that Jesus could see prophetically what the Father was doing, so they were jealous of his insight. How may times has tradition killed new insight?

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As we go into this spring season, please celebrate Passover with your family and think about how the religious leaders treated Jesus. Use this as a time to reflect on how much you have religion vs a personal relationship with Jesus Himself, and what He did for you and me.

In His Grace,

D

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