bible christianity theology

silent word

On Luke 22:63 – 23:25:

After the failure of followers to follow (sleeping watchmen, a sell-out treasurer [Judas], and a crumbling Rock [Peter]), the pattern of doing the opposite of one’s vocation continues:

Guards, meant to protect the process of justice by ensuring that a subject makes it to trial, abuse, beat, blindfold and taunt Jesus. “Prophecy! Who struck you!?” These abusive protectors are the real blindfolded ones.

The Council, comprised of Chief priests, elders and Law ‘expert’ teachers, was meant to function as a truth-seeking, justice-preserving body. This trial, however, was over long before it began; they frame Jesus with their questions, get him to say what they wanted to hear, and charge him with blasphemy. This perversion of both truth and justice shows that they are the blasphemous ones.

The Roman governor Pilate and the Jewish King Herod were rulers and leaders of society – meant to protect order and promote peace. Instead, these leaders and rulers are led and ruled themselves. Pilate dodges responsibility and is eventually pressured against his will to have Jesus crucified. Herod, more interested in being entertained by a miracle, places kingly robes on Jesus and mocks him. The governor is governed, and the false King of the Jews mocks the true.

The militant and murderous revolutionary, Barabbas, is a condemned, crucifiable criminal. Jesus is leading a kingdom of peace, and is innocent. Bar-abbas, the ‘son of the Father(s)’, is released while another ‘Bar-Abba’ takes his place.

And in the middle of it all, fulfilling rather than contradicting his Vocation, is Jesus; the all-powerful Lord being revealed in weakness – the victorious King securing the victory through defeat – the Word made flesh speaking loudly in silence.