Recently, I saw a child’s portrayal of the crucifixion, with some soldiers bundled together, some bystanders, some Jewish leaders, the friends and mother of Jesus and the two criminals. This is the type where you cut out the figures, possibly colour them and then stick them on to a piece of paper.
[show_more more=”Click here to read the whole article”] When I saw this, I immediately didn’t go to the primitive drawing, but the groups. This got me thinking.
• There were a group of soldiers (Matthew 27:33-36, Mark 15:22-25, Luke 23:32-34 and John 19:16-18, 23-24).
• The bystanders (Matthew 27:39-40, 49; Mark 15:29-30, 36; Luke 23:35)
• There were the Jewish leaders (Matthew 41-43; Mark 15:31-32; John 19:21)
• The friends and mother of Jesus (John 19:25-28)
• The two criminals (Matthew27:38, 44; Mark 15:27; Luke 23:32, 39-42)
Now looking at the groups a little more closely:
• The soldiers: They were professionals, doing their job, following orders, doing the ‘right thing’ by the establishment.
• The bystanders: The people who just happened to be passing by the location at the time. They had some understanding of what had happened and who Jesus was.
• There were the Jewish leaders: The ones who liked their structure, their position and rank, who jealously followed after their fathers’ tradition, followed the letter but lost the spirit.
• The friends and mother of Jesus: Those caught up in the emotion of the moment, thinking all is lost, their hope is gone, can only see today and have lost sight of tomorrow.
• The two criminals: One sneers and ridicules, the other understanding he has nothing and is dying justly, asks for mercy, not really expecting anything but death.
Which are you, which am I?
• Are we busy doing our duty, following orders, attending for duty and because that is what we have done for the last ‘x’ years? We can’t see what is around us, maybe we don’t care!
• Are we hearing and looking but not involved, happy to pass judgements, but remote and distant.
• Are we jealous for our efforts, our understanding or our Church? Are we so open to everything, that we are closed to the truth? What we lack in humility we make up for in volume and performance.
• Are we overcome with the immediate, we lose track of the future; bound up with making a crust, we lose track of the reason for our efforts; so caught up in our world, we lose track of reality. Or
• Understand we are nothing but guilty before God, and ask for His mercy and love alone, having nothing to offer.
Which are you, which am I?
You will have to answer, and so will I.
Our actions betray who we are
Chris Jones, Canberra Gate