Reading: Mark 15:21-40
Recently we have quite some time using our senses and imagination as we try to get ourselves into this story of Jesus. What must it have felt like around the city that night. Total utter rejection for many and the smugness of others, religious leaders believing they had completed a good day’s work. Imagine now after his death how the mocking would have continued, all those barrack room lawyers emerging from the shadows and the ridiculous statements that would have been made. Things such as, ‘We shouldn’t really be surprised given what has gone on during this last week in Jerusalem. This Jesus really had it coming to him.’ Then another voice chips in, ‘The wife and I were just saying ‘You cannot traipse around the country with a dozen nobodies and expect to be believed. These disciples of his, if you can call them that, are common. And as for him, with his stories of lost coins and runaway children, he was far from sophisticated.’ Imagine the feelings around the city that night. People wanted a Messiah and if you pretend to be one you must take the consequences. You need to know where the line is if you are playing the fool, poking fun at politics and religion, he overstepped the mark.’
On Sunday we imagined that we were the Roman soldier sent to fill out a report on the entry parade now he is reflecting with his mates, now he has the words that he could not find just a few day ago. ‘There he was, riding on a donkey, with his starry-eyed friends throwing their shirts off their backs in front of him, and doing all of this in Royal Style. It might have been quite a laugh after dark, when the streets are empty. But not, in the light of day in the most sacred week of the year. Those who do that must be prepared for the consequences. So, all in all he had it coming to him.’ Of course, if it’s sensationalism he was after, he was going the right way about it. The temple of all places, that house of prayer, who would disagree? The place of worship is not a place to test the limits to which you can go or test the patience of those in charge, before someone shouts, ‘No further!’ But the stories circulating now about before he reached the city. He had such a following who would gather and listen to his words. They would gladly settle down on the hillside and listen to his preaching even when they were hungry and night approached he fed them with least amount of food you could ever imagine. Stories of how he invited those who look the worst, those who never seek the limelight. He asked the sick people to come forward and so they came. Three years his followers watched him, listened to him, copied him and now they have been let down. When the time came, it was one of his own who hand him over for a fee. He could have shown them today who he really was, people were ready for something big, instead he said nothing, allowing them to carry out their worst. Imagine how those whose lives he had touched felt in the city that night as they reflected on his short life. Remembering when he sat with the ones whom society had rejected and told them God was there. He smiled at soldiers, heathen soldiers, and promised them that God loves them. Imagine in the city that night those who still believed, those who still loved, those who remained loyal to their friend, those who still held fast to their faith. Imagine their conversation that night. That’s probably the most difficult conversation for us to imagine. Imagine if this is what the whole week has been about? As the world carried out it’s punishment on God, God was doing something beautiful for the world. That leads us to a choice of two statements.
Because all in all he had it coming to him. Or Because all in all the world needs him.