Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Choosing Barabbas

I love biblical commentary that turns one of my own cherished notions on its head. Conrad Gempf does that today in making a clear and convincing case that the Jerusalem crowd was not inconsistent in calling for Jesus' crucifixion:
Give us Barabbas. The crowd is not fickle. They have not turned from the ideals that had them making that palm-leaf red carpet at the triumphal entry. They want a leader, relevant to the needs of their generation. If Jesus is it, then they shower Jesus with Hosannas. But when he is meek before his captors, it's clear that he's not it and we turn to someone who still might be. Barabbas is relevant; Barabbas addresses the glaring need of the society and does so head on. Jesus is closeted up with Pilate talking about theology and other worlds. He can’t even defend himself, how will he defend us? Give us Barabbas.
Read the whole article (it's three paragraphs long) only if you want to see how devastatingly like the Jerusalem crowd the church today can be.


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