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Who executed Jesus?

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by Oscar Allen 01.APR.10

The execution of the Palestinian, Jesus Christ, on Calvary was a successful political campaign project with a theological meaning, i.e. for the salvation of the cosmos.

Two Roman officials, Herod, in charge of Galilee, north Palestine and Pilate, in charge of Judea, South Palestine, approved the project to execute Jesus. It was the temple leaders in Jerusalem, the High Priest and his ad hoc cabinet who presented to the Roman Officials the project to have Jesus terminated.{{more}}

A crowd from the people who were celebrating their Emancipation/Passover festival in Jerusalem added their voices to support the Temple Leaders’ project. They were urged on by agitators and shouted their slogans and, from a variety of mixed motives, their hysteria troubled the Roman Officials. “Nail him up, nail him up, nail him to the cross”. That was a road march song around Pilate’s ears.

Of course, there was another group who were quiet, some Galileans, Bethanyites and Jerusalemites among them afraid and indifferent, preoccupied. All these were they who made the execution go forward. They/we crucified Jesus.

In the gospel from Mark, the writer recounts: “Pilate knew that the Chief priests had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous” (Mark 15. 10 – CEV) When we use the word “jealous” we think of a sentiment that arises when another person is in our way. That person has something that we should have. The jealousy that Pilate saw in the behaviour of the chief priests was an institutional jealousy. One report says that at the time, 80% of the income of the people passed through the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple exercised a near monopoly over the wealth thinking, allegiance and behaviour of the people. It validated their every move – well almost. The Temple leaders, therefore, felt that Jesus was a serious threat, presenting teachings and signs that while they did not belittle the temple, certainly did not “big up” and support the distortions of Temple “Bossism”. When Jesus taught ordinary Galileans that: “You are the light of the world…” and to Jerusalemites that the Vineyard of the Lord is in treacherous hands, the Temple leaders did not respond with introspection and self analysis. The execution project was their way to defend their earnings and their spiritual hegemony and power.

Rewinding to Palestine 2000 years ago, and Fast Forwarding to SVG, Caribbean and elsewhere today, the socio political project to execute Jesus on Calvary, faces us with persons, institutions and conduct just like us and ours, today.

When Jesus prayed on the cross, “Dear Dad/Abba, forgive these people…” Are we also there, touched by that prayer? I am.

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