For over 2000 years priests, theologians, and scripture scholars have argued over who killed Jesus. For the better part of those 2000 years, the Jews have been blamed for Jesus’ death. Only recently, with the advent of authentic scripture scholarship have the Jews been let off the hook with the blame being placed on the shoulders of either the Romans or a few select members of the Jewish temple leadership – specifically the Chief Priests, Pharisees and Sadducees. The truth is neither the Romans nor the Jews killed Jesus –
Scripture is actually quite clear on this subject. When Jesus’ followers had an opportunity to defend their teacher, they chose silence. When Pontius Pilate gave the crowd an opportunity to choose whether Jesus or Barabbas would die, they demanded Jesus’ death. Whether we believe the veracity of these stories or not, Jesus’ disciples, the crowd; those who originally charged Jesus with heresy and then condemned him to die; and those who carried out these orders; represent every single one of us –
When we choose fear over love.
Jesus was a man who came to realize that love was the remedy to the violence, hatred, ignorance, and injustices that arise out of the human condition when people are living in fear. Jesus came to know love as the way through the fear that is inherent within the human condition. Jesus then sought to teach others how to choose love over the fear with which they had grown accustomed. And then…..we killed him for it.
Why in the world would we kill a man who only sought to teach us how to love? The answer is simple – because human beings are lazy. We do not want to do the really hard work of healing our fears. We do not want to take responsibility for our behaviors and the fears that drive those behaviors. It is sooooo much easier to point the finger of blame at someone else than it is to take responsibility for the unhealed wounds within us. It is easier to remain in what we know than to embrace the change that comes from healing our wounds. It is easier to hate than it is to do the work of healing our fears so that we can do the only thing Jesus asked us to do: LOVE.
We are the ones who killed Jesus and we kill him again every time we choose fear over love, hatred over compassion, ignorance over knowledge, violence over peace, judgment over understanding. Love is not a privilege – it is a choice.