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by Peter Snow
Why do we want to perpetuate hatred of Jewish people? Parishes are planning for Palm Sunday services and Good Friday for their lay people to scream out crucify him like at a political rally. They will be asked to cry out, “His blood be upon our heads, and upon our children” and so perpetuate the anti-semitic judgment of 2,000 years. Let us stop supporting the belief held for 2,000 years by Christians everywhere that the Jewish people were responsible for Jesus’ death. The temple clergy were responsible, and carefully packed the courtyard before Pilate.
The people of Jerusalem were not involved. Jesus was on the cross by noon. He must have been before Pilate by 8.00 am and before the people of the city could know what was happening. Two hearings, one scourging, preparation of a crucifixion detail and a visit to Herod all compressed into four hours? No, the time line is too tight and left no time for communication to the people. They were intentionally excluded, and the High Priest wanted Jesus dead before the people could react. The arrest in darkness, the hearing in the middle of the night, and the hearing by the Sanhedrin after sunrise, all speak of haste and secrecy. They could have condemned him within the Sanhedrin, but his trial would be open, a defense would be mounted, there would be debate and it would take 72 hours to kill him. No, the clergy wanted it done before the people woke up to what was happening. It was the clergy who wanted him dead in order to protect their monopoly which Jesus threatened.
It is the clergy of any faith or ideology that light the fires beneath the martyrs, populate inquisitions, and rouse people to genocide and pogroms. Enough already.
The Rev Peter D. Snow is a priest in the Diocese of Olympia, author of the book, Jesus, “The God App,” and is now working on another book, “The Mind of Jesus of Nazareth.”