Pastor Hamilton’s book (pp. 118-119) points out that the “crowd” who shouted for Jesus’ death did not include most of the people of Jerusalem. Many worked for the priests and rulers (see verse 20). Others no doubt lost money when Jesus cleansed the Temple.
- Take some prayerful time to grapple with this searching question from p. 120 of Pastor Hamilton’s devotional book: “What darkness do you see in your own soul? Bigotry? Hatred? Anger when your sin is exposed? Frustration when others do not see eye to eye with you? Can you see yourself in the crowd?”
- For centuries, some have used verse 25 (“”His blood is on us and on our children!”) to justify bias, persecution and cruelty against Jews. It’s one of the darkest stains on Christian history. As noted, that crowd was a small sample of the people in Jerusalem. Pilate and the Romans were just as guilty, despite Pilate’s showy hand washing. What prejudices get in the way of you loving your neighbor as yourself?
Talk about places we don’t want to go! We don’t want to go here so badly that there is part of us the refuses to believe these places exist! But they do, the dark places in your life, and your soul, things so ugly that we think they must remain hidden. There is a problem with this though, they don’t. They sneak out around the edges, they ooze out under pressure, and when we behave poorly and these things come out we wonder “where did that come from?”
The only way to get rid of this ugly junk in our lives and souls is to daily expose them to the light of Christ, the pure undiluted love of God. In baptism these areas can be washed clean, no longer hidden in the shadows, they can be seen, dealt with, and transformed.
Martin Luther has some dark places of his own, one of which was his opinions of the others, namely Jew’s and Muslims. He said some not so nice things about them, and he wrote many of them down. Now do we throw everything Martin Luther said out the door because of this? As a Lutheran you know my answer… but we do need to drag these things out into the light, deal with them, know they are there and see what God can do even with such garbage. God does some of his best work restoring tainted, and broken things to be blessings again for all creation. In fact most of the beautiful things we see in life are when the light of God in Christ confronts, exposes, and transforms the darkest areas of human existence.