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I’ve been reading the Gospel accounts of the Easter story. I find it so interesting to think of each author’s writing slant as the Holy Spirit whispered words to their hearts to be scribbled down. Matthew, the tax collector, certainly provided details. Mark was a little more of a straight-forward kind of guy. With Luke’s medical background, his perspective is unique from the other three. And John gives an eyewitness account of the love of Christ in action.
But this season as I’ve been reading, while I’ve always read the terms “scribes and Pharisees” and “religious leaders of the day” associated with the crucifixion, one reflective line of thinking has seemed to permeate my mind.
There is no doubt sin is what nailed Jesus to the cross.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:8
Yes, God sent his son to this world to pay the price for our sin. John 3:16
But the thought that continues to twist and turn about in my mind is this:
Those who carried out the act of killing Jesus weren’t the typical murderers of the day.
Those who boldly insisted, indeed, paid for Jesus to be crucified- they were not thieves who pretended to be homeless. They didn’t come from the lower levels of economic society nor were they uneducated or unemployed. Any labels of a negative sort would have long been stripped from their shoulders as they proudly walked the streets.
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. Matthew 6:5
The crucifixion of Jesus, King of the Jews, resulted from the position of those in charge of religious affairs. The very people who should have known that Jesus was indeed the Son of God- those who worshiped in the temple and had a very religious family upbringing. The scholars and temple big wigs and the ones who had every law memorized- they were the ones who brought Jesus to the attention of Roman officials via their confidante, Judas. They were the ones who would not stop shouting to Pilate, “Crucify him!”
And all the while they felt they were doing the right thing. They strongly believed in their pious and pompous acts of upholding the law. They were so focused on shooting their religious arrows that they completely missed the target- the coming of the Messiah. He stood in their presence and they hated him to the point of pushing for his death.
Pride can hide behind many masks; the one that frightens me the most is religion.
If it were so easy for the religious leaders of Jesus’ day to prefer their lawful duties over the love of God, how can I possibly think that I’m exempt from the same trap?
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 17:17
For more food for thought, read the Easter account in each of the Gospels:
Which mask of pride is prominent to you? I’d love to read your comments today!
Bloggers, Whimsical Wednesday is here and it’s time for our weekly link-up party of 100% Christian encouragement!! Thanks for linking up each week and I look forward to checking out your posts!