Tag Archives: Pontius Pilate

WERE YOU THERE? (thoughts for Palm/Passion Sunday – Sixth Sunday in Lent)

WERE YOU THERE?

I remember reading a short story – the title escapes me, as does the author – and being captivated by it.

It’s a science fiction story and concerns a travel agency set in the future.

Now, this travel agency deals with the extra-ordinary: it caters for people who have become blasé about going to distant exotic lands, whether on this planet or elsewhere.

So, what they offer is this: travel to anywhere in history – an opportunity to take part in great world events as they actually happen.

This story concerns a large group of tourists who have decided – through this time-travel expedition – to visit Jerusalem at the time of Christ.

In the twinkling of an eye and the press of a button and the throw of a switch, they are transported to the Holy City……and find themselves arriving on Good Friday.

They discover themselves looking up at Pontius Pilate from his balcony, offering the crowd the choice of Barabbas or Jesus of Nazareth for execution.

Not wanting to appear conspicuous, the time travellers feel that they ought not deviate from history, and so start to chant “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

And so, it is done.

But, suddenly, one of these visitors happens to look around and notices to his shock and horror that the mob crying out for Christ’s crucifixion is made up entirely of his fellow tourists.

Then he glances up at the windows of the houses round about him and sees that all the devout Jews are indoors silently praying

Whatever we make of that fictional story – apart from its logic, its historicity or its theology – note this theme, this recurring theme: somehow WE are implicated in the crucifixion.

This is the theme of the old spiritual,  “Were you there when they crucified my Lord”

 

 

And it’s the theme of many a hymn, and many a sermon.

Where you there when they crucified my Lord?

We don’t like this.  We would rather be counted among the crowd on Palm Sunday cheering and applauding that same Lord as he entered Jerusalem in triumph.

And if we could, we would have.

But human nature is fickle.  When things are bright and beautiful, and the sun shines on us, and all’s well with the world, we’re content – indeed happy – certainly without complaint, and God is glorified and worshipped and adored.

But when we feel let down, or misunderstand the situation, or if the world appears to be kicking us in the teeth – where then is that God?

It’s easy to change opinions, abandon principles, abandon faith itself.

We go with the crowd.  We go the way that seems right for the time.  We really can be fair-weather Christians.

And with that comes the very sins that crucified Christ – amongst them, selfishness and self-interest, corruption of ideals and abandonment of principles, hypocrisy and expediency

And the crowd that shouted ‘Hosanna’ when the occasion demanded it, prompted it – turns its cry to that of ‘Crucify’ because it suited them at the time.

In which group shall we be numbered?  The Judas people who still betray him when he doesn’t satisfy their selfish agenda?  The Pontius Pilate people who dismiss him when what he stands for contradicts expediency and pleasing the crowd?  The folk – like those in the crowd – who distance themselves from him when following him requires transforming self and society?

Or with those who honoured him on that Palm Sunday and continue to do so not just every Sunday but on every day of their life, offering him they dedication of their whole selves in his service and to his greater glory?

And as the hymn “At the name of Jesus” puts it:

“In your hearts enthrone him;

There let him subdue

All that is not holy,

All that is not true:

Crown him as your captain

In temptation’s hour;

Let his will enfold you

In its light and power”

 

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Guilty as changed, M’lud?

Pontius Pilate, King Herod and Others to Face Trial at The Hague?
August 4, 2013 By Kathy Schiffer – Patheos

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has been asked to revisit a 2,000-year-old case–convening a re-trial of Jesus Christ and prosecuting those responsible for his unlawful conviction.
Dola Indidis, a Kenyan lawyer who is former spokesman for Kenya’s Judiciary, has built his case on facts which you already know: that Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate was invalid, because it was “conducted in a manner contrary to a fair trial.” Indidis hopes to persuade the ICJ to issue a declaratory judgment that the trial judgment and sentence entered were badly done, and were therefore null and void.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Indidis is reportedly attempting to sue Tiberius (emperor of Rome, 42 BCE-37 CE), Pontius Pilate, a selection of Jewish elders, King Herod, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel. A Kenyan TV report adds Palestine to that list of criminal offenders who are being sued by Indidis on behalf of a group called “Friends of Jesus.”
This is not the first time Mr. Indidis has brought his case to court. He first filed in 2007 in Nairobi, in Kenya’s High Court; but that court ruled that it had no jurisdiction. He then took his case to the UN’s top judicial body, where he hopes it will receive a formal hearing.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Indidis acknowledges that the persons responsible for Jesus’ conviction and execution are dead. However, he believes that the governments and agencies for which they worked can and should be held responsible. He included the modern nations of Italy and Israel in the suit because when those nations were founded, they incorporated into their charters the laws of the Roman Empire. The JP reports:

“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidis told the Nairobian. “His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”

Indidis … is challenging the mode of questioning used during Jesus’s trial, prosecution, hearing and sentencing; the form of punishment meted out to him while undergoing judicial proceedings and the substance of the information used to convict him.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi considers the exercise futile, at least from a theological viewpoint. Rev. Maloba Wesonga, spokesman for the Archdiocese, said, “As we know it, the trial had to happen. We must understand that Jesus was not vulnerable and nobody can do justice to God.”

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Shape-shifting Jesus

http://news.discovery.com/history/religion/shape-shifting-jesus-described-in-ancient-text-130313.htm

 

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