Cursed be the one who trusts in human beings…
Jeremiah 17: 5
For centuries human beings have argued over who killed my beloved, Jesus. Some have argued that it was the Jews….and many Jews have perished as a result of this accusation. Many argue that it was the Romans and that Jesus, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed for political reasons. Many of my brothers in Christ suffered and then perished as a result of this perceived conflict. The truth is it was neither the Jews nor the Romans who killed my Beloved. It was human beings.
Standing in the crowd as Jesus was being tried before Pilate in the company of the Chief Priests of the Temple, it was not Pilate who condemned Jesus to death. It was not the jealousy or insecurity of the Chief Priests that signed his death sentence. It was the crowd. Even when given the chance to free Jesus, the crowd refused. Why? Because it was easier to sign Jesus’ death warrant than to live the life he called them to live. People killed Jesus because they were afraid – afraid that if what he spoke was truth, then the world they had come to know might come to an end.
In this, they were absolutely correct. Being healed of the fears that plague the human experience would have changed them, and through them, it would have changed their world. What they failed to see and believe, however, was that if they had chosen to live as Jesus had called them to live, their lives would have become better. They would be happier, more content, their needs would be met. They would know love and the world could finally live in peace.
But alas, it was not to be so. 2000 years later, the love and peace that Jesus embodied and sought to share with humanity is still denied. Humanity, it seems, is incapable of seeing past their fears, their tribal beliefs, their cultural norms, the religious/political doctrines to which they cling, to witness the peaceful kingdom that is already present within and among them, if they would only bother to lay down their swords long enough to learn how to LOVE. Instead, humanity continues to languish in the “sins” of separation – racism, prejudice, sexism, nationalism, the desire for power, greed, gluttony, sloth, avarice, jealousy and pride. As humanity clings to its separation, millions of people are dying, afraid, starving, homeless, abused, beaten, oppressed, imprisoned, made to fight wars that are not their own. For every person who dies unnecessarily another part of humanity’s soul dies along with them…..and Jesus dies again.
Jesus described this in the parable reported by our brother Matthew:
The King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
This is how it is with Christ. Each and every human being is a reflection of Christ. Each and every human being has a spark of the Christ light (love) within them. Every single person is a living, breathing, child of God. So when you (especially those who call themselves Christian) harm another human being, when you deprive them of their basic needs, when you support programs and policies that strip them of basic human dignity, when you deny them what the need, not only to live, but also to thrive, you are saying NO to the man you claim as your teacher and savior. Whatsoever you do to your fellow human beings, you are doing to Jesus. And when you cause your brother harm, or deprive your sister of what she needs to survive, then you are killing Jesus again.
Humanity killed Jesus and continues to kill him every time they choose fear over love, hate over compassion, greed over generosity, gluttony over sharing, pride over humility, sloth over action, etc. etc. etc.
Humanity killed Jesus and every day kills him again.