Where Were You As Jesus Stood Accused?

“Christ Accused by the Pharisees”
Duccio de Buoninsegna, (1308-11)

Today’s Scripture Passage: Mark 14: 53-72
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To read today’s portion of the account of the Passion, click on the below link:
http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=200505621

Most of us don’t read this portion of The Passion a whole lot.  We like the image of Jesus’ Anointing and we love the notion of The Garden of Gethsemane but this…this is not to our liking.  This is the story of Jesus as The Accused.  And we all know that doesn’t make sense.  What did Jesus ever do wrong?  And yet, here he is, before the court.  But this man who had spent his ministry welcoming others in was alone.  Oh, wait a minute…there’s Peter behind that sleeping elderly Scribe with the bad complexion.  Peter, his friend, his confidante, his disciple (Peter, as in Saint!) is there, but keeping a safe distance.  Well, I suppose he has too.  After all, the future of the Christian church rests with him, right?  He has to keep up appearances, do the right thing.  The important thing is that he is here, that Jesus knows he is here.  The important thing is that, deep down, Jesus knows how much he loves him and supports him.

Oh, we’re good at this, aren’t we?  We’re good at figuring out how to keep up appearances, at figuring out how to offer love and support while still maintaining our own place in life.  It’s difficult to associate ourselves with certain people or certain issues, even though we agree.  You see, we have to maintain our position so, please, understand, I support you, but I can’t speak out just now.  I know you understand how much I love you.

COCK A DOODLE DOOOOOOO!

What was that?  That was a lot of noise!  But, seriously, it’s hard to associate with certain people.  I love them; I support them; you know, I even think that they’re treated badly by both the society and, sadly, the church, but I just can’t.  What good would it do for me to forego my position just to make a statement on their behalf?

COCK A DOODLE DOOOOOOO!

Geez!  What IS that noise?  This man is my friend.  I love him.  But I can’t.  I can’t be seen with him right now.  I know he understands.

COCK A DOODLE DOOOOOOO!

And so Jesus stood alone. And Peter wept.  Peter wept for his friend but probably more than that he wept for what he was not.

I have to say that I am not a “rabble rouser”.  I tend to live my life with as little drama as I can muster.  In fact, I have to admit that I would be often standing in the back of the courtroom silently supporting the accused but not wanting to put my own self in jeopardy.  We’re all like that.  Isn’t that interesting that we talk so much, cannot put our cell phones or our emails aside and, yet, we are silent?  It is a dangerous and destructive silence.  It is like standing in the back of the courtroom and watching the innocent of all innocents accused and not speaking out.  Because you see, it is silence that crucified Jesus; it is silence that allowed the religious Crusades of the Middles Ages exist; it is silence that created slavery as the blotch on our nation’s history; it is silence that closed its eyes to Auschwitz hoping against hope that it would go away; it is silence that allowed segregation to exist in this country until late in the 20th century; and it is silence that continues to allow our church and our nation to limit who is part of us, who is part of the Kingdom of God.

And so Jesus stood accused.  Peter was in the background, safely hidden away.  Where were you? 

So, on this Wednesday of Holy Week, how would you answer? Were you there as Jesus stood accused?  Were you in the back of the courtroom?  What things do you know are wrong but about which you are silent?  Where do you voice your passions?  Where do you voice your Passion?

Grace and Peace,

Shelli

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