Sunday, April 07, 2019

Gossip: the sins that crucified Christ

Sunday, April 7, 2019
    “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
    “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.
     “Crucify him!” they shouted.
    —Mark 15:9-13 (NIV)
    Who was it that set up the Cross? Not fiends incarnate, but plain flesh and blood like us; quite ordinary men, decent and kindly souls enough, some of whom, no doubt, went to their homes that day from Calvary and took their children on their knees and loved them very genuinely. Only, they were a bit old fashioned in the make-up of their minds, had grown stiff and inelastic in their thinking, inhospitable to new notions—surely a very minor sin at worst; and some feared for their vested interests; and one, poor Pilate, had lost his temper with these impossible Jews in days gone by, and had received a curt warning from Rome that there must be no further bloodshed in Jerusalem, and here was a new trouble at the very worst of times in the whole year, with fanatics in tens of thousands come up for the Feast; and one wanted to save the world by quick-running machinery, and so put Christ into a situation where He could no longer dilly-dally but must do something vivid, dramatic, revolutionary. And the people? No need for us to bother being there at the decision between Jesus and Barabbas. He had the lined streets cheering for Him yesterday. And we have relatives to see, and messages from neighbours to deliver to their kindred. He’ll be all right; we needn’t worry to be there. Such simple and plebian sins—minds grown a trifle out of date, a little selfishness, some temper and its consequences, a bit of worldly wisdom, and an indifference that did nothing at all—these brought about the shame of mankind, and the tragedy of history, and the blot upon our annals that will not rub out. And they are all of them within your heart, and mine.
    ... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), Experience Worketh Hope, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1945, p. 176 (see the book)
    See also Mark 15:9-13; Matt. 27:19-24; John 19:4-16; Acts 2:36-37; 1 Cor. 2:7-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, forgive those offenses in me.
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