Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Week Possibilities: Wednesday

Today I return to the question about why the Sanhedrin didn't stone Jesus to throw into the mix that there were a whole lot more people around to stir up because it was Passover. Not only were there more Jews who possibly could riot but also a lot more Romans around to watch them. Matthew tells us that there was a cohort present mocking Jesus and that alone is 600 soldiers. So perhaps those other stonings and beheadings simply were "under the radar" for Pilate.

I'm also intrigued by the the trial. We know that Nicodemus was a supporter of Jesus, apparently making sure that there was a trial. Hmmm, so perhaps there was the intent simply to kill Jesus, but one powerful supporter (or possibly two, if Joseph of Arimathea had influence) was able to force at least a show trial. Maybe the Sanhedrin would have made it look like self defense, killing Jesus at Gethsemane during the arrest. That is always the way with bullies isn't it? Still, the form of trial seems to be that there was no one to defend the accused but the accused. Of course, there is a requirement that two witnesses agree so it is more than one person making a false accusation. In this case truth still loses because two people concur. Actually, they do tell the truth, don't they? They say that Jesus said that he would tear down the temple and in three days rebuild it. It is a prime example of the problem of literalism. Jesus was not talking about the actual temple, but neither was he only talking about his body using the temple as a metaphor. It seems clear that he was talking about replacing the corrupt religious practice of his day with a new path of spirituality. In many ways that is exactly what we should be seeking during this Holy Week now.

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