As Holy week unfolds and life's challenges face us do we really understand what it was that Jesus faced? He paraded into Jerusalem to shouts of praise and accolades. He was on top of the world. But something was amiss. He understood that this could turn on a dime and, because we read the book, we know it does. He is on top one day and the next, crucified for the same reason. Crucified because he spoke the truth. Have you lived through anything like this? Have you been the chosen one at work, given a gold watch only to be downsized right out of a job? Have you been the apple of someone's eye, only to be served with divorce papers? Have you spoken up against injustice only to find your friends cross the street when they see you coming? Are you an Easter person? Do you realize that in order to stand for what is right, something has to die?
Jesus died that day a long time ago. The gospels are each writer's account of what transpired after his death. He was critical to the people as they picked up the pieces and moved on. Some denied knowing him, some ran and locked themselves in a room, others simply went back to being oppressed by the Romans and their law. People mourned his death because he was a great man. But he was also divine. He was the essence of God in the flesh. He was the speaker of the house of God and love prevailed through him with passion. When we talk about the passion of the Christ it is with it we can move mountains and stand forever.
Our world is a broken place. A place where CBC radio repeats over and over how the Toronto mayor was ejected from a party for poor behaviour when the important news, how hundreds are hungry and homeless in that same city, is never mentioned. Shootings of young men make headlines regularly while the mothers cry out in pain. Jesus was the voice trying to bring people back to what is sacred. Jesus is the voice reminding us of what we are to do. Jesus may have died that day but he lives on in the hearts of all Christians and is calling for justice. Stand in peace with our brothers and sisters; in faith and trust hold hands with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and all faithful because Jesus wants us to. Be a Christian and welcome all faiths to your table.