crucifixion of christ
"IF I HAD been a journalist at the time of the crucifixion, I would have been hanging around Herod’s palace talking to Pilate and disregarding [Jesus].” Out of the deluge of words spoken at the National Religious Broadcasters’ convention in Washington, D.C., in January 1978, this statement by Malcolm Muggeridge stood out. First, it had immediate personal relevance to this reporter: I was so busy chasing down celebrity Christians for interviews that if Jesus Christ had walked in, I certainly would have rushed by the out-of-place character. ...
At the time of the crucifixion, most Americans would have focused their attention on Herod, Pilate, their armies, their courts, and their rationales for doing what was “necessary” for law and order. Or for morality and family. Or for keeping the economy on an even keel. Or for the integrity and stability of the empire.
Most us of would have done it then, because we do it today. As good American citizens, and as reporters and as consumers of the news, we wittingly and unwittingly tag along with the crucifiers. We are fascinated with power.
The fascination with power carries over from our secular life to our religious life. Come Easter and the resurrection, we feel quite comfortable glorifying God the almighty, the omnipotent. We forget where we were three days earlier. We neglect our complicity in the cross event. And in the process, we ravel the whole fabric of Holy Week.
A respectful, bright young high school student asked me yesterday if Baptism and the Eucharist were not merely symbols.
The first thing out of my mouth, I suspect more or less unconsciously (I've never answered in this way before) was:
"When Paul talks about Christ being 'in us' or about 'putting on' Christ does he mean to invoke a metaphor or a reality? Does Jesus really make his home in us by the Spirit or do Christians, when speaking in this way, generally mean that Jesus lives in us only symbolically?"
This hit home — for him, for thirty young adults, and for me.