It is Expedient that One Man Die for the People

“Jesus, a victim of a conspiracy among threatened Jewish leaders, died on a Roman cross.  Babel put Jesus to death: City and tower, Jew and Gentile, Shem and Japheth, the whole oikoumene, joined forces to kill the true Emperor.  To the Jewish temple elites, Jesus threatened the delicate balance with Rome.  As He gained a following, it became more and more likely that the Roamns would come to take away ‘our place and our nation’ (John 11:48).  It was expedient that one man die for the people.  Jesus threatened resistant Jews because he favored Judea’s untouchables and flouted the rules of purity.  His movement was a contagion that could infect all of Judaism and prevent Yahweh’s advent to redeem Israel.  He had to be expelled.  It was expedient that one man die for the people.  For the Roman procurator, Jesus was another Jewish nuisance, innocent perhaps but not worth protecting at the cost of a riot.  It was defensible to execute Him, since He called Himself a king, talked about an empire other than Rome, set Himself as rival to Caesar.  It was expedient that one man die for the people. . . . or, it was convenient to offer a scapegoat to protect one man’s dead-end post in the fetid backwaters of the empire.  Pilate’s utilitarian calculus unmasked the brutality just underneath the shiny surface of Roman justice.  Roman iustitia cracked forever at the cross of Jesus.  And Jesus’ unmasking of Roman power advanced a crucial step in the resurrection, the Father’s own verdict regarding Jesus, His ‘justification’ or ‘vindication.’  The resurrection made public what was hidden in the cross, that Jesus is the Righteous One.  If that is true, then the alliance of Jews and Romans to execute Jesus was unjust.  Before the cross, Jew and Gentile, partners in building Babel, stand exposed.” —Between Babel and Beast, 35-36.

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