Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Explained, Gen X (or maybe Y) style:
You laugh, but when WalMart has a man in a bunny suit ready to have kids hippety-hop onto his lap and tell him their Easter wishes, how far off can it be?

Saw this in a poem on ShoutLife:
"It's Friday, Pilate's strutting around washing his hands 'cause he thinks he's got all the power and the victory."

I feel sorry for Pontius Pilate. As governor over a Jewish state in the Roman Empire, he was charged with keeping the peace and running an orderly state. Then come these local religious leaders insisting he kill a man that he considers innocent or they'll let it be known he (Pilate) is a traitor to Caesar. Just beating Jesus didn't appease them. Offering to set him free nearly started a riot. They'd rather have a dangerous revolutionary than a gentle man. Then there's the law/tradition that said they--not he--had the right to choose who he'd free that day.

He was manipulated both with political blackmail and the threat of riot--which meant many innocents being injured or killed.

So where's his power here? Where's his victory?

The washing of hands was more than "I refuse to take responsibility." It was a way to say, "I don't want a part of this." Didn't the disciples knock the dust off their sandals when they left a city that rejected them?

I think he was more likely slump-shouldered with what he'd felt forced to do or storming about in frustration than strutting with power and victory.

Of course, in 20-20 hindsight, it was the only decision he could make for the sake of all our souls, even his.

Tonight, as I pray for all political leaders, I make a special mention for him.
On Good Friday, we went to Confession and part of the Tre Ore. (A Catholic tradition: A three-hour service in honor of the three hours Jesus spent dying on the cross. We sing, meditate, pray and hear the last seven statements. It was a beautiful ceremony.) Also on Friday is the Veneration of the Cross, where we hear the story of the Crucifixion and give honor to the living cross by which we are saved.

I didn't want to go. I'd had a bad day--despite the TreOre--and was way behind on work. At 6:30, I was sill grading papers and hadn't even touched the manuscript that's due this evening. When Rob came home and saw me, he just gave me hugs. But those hugs and the Tre Ore strengthened me, and I reminded myself that I've been feeling my priorities shifting--and not in the best way. So at 7:00, I steeled myself and got everyone ready to go.

I'm so glad we did. Our family had a minor miracle happen at that service. Like Mary, I'm going to keep it in my heart, but I'd appreciate it if anyone reading this would pray that the seed planted at that service continues to bear fruit.

Have a blessed Easter.

Karina Fabian

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When it comes to Prefect Pilate, my favorite fictionalization of the subject is Pontius Pilate by Paul L Maier. Also his sequel, Flames of Rome, about the runup to and reign of Nero.

The "poem" you mention appears to be "It's Friday... but Sunday's Coming", originally told by Tony Campolo from a bang-up Good Friday sermon in his church.

Ken Pick
Mask of the Ferret