Once we understand what people did to Jesus, we tend to think, “I wouldn’t have done it. I would have been different.” We agree that those people were truly wicked. We want to distance ourselves from them and their actions. We think that, in their place, we would never have been had anything to do with crucifying Jesus.
Let us remember, however, that all the sins present at the Cross of Calvary have their parallels in our own hearts.
Why did Judas betray Jesus? Well, he was the treasurer who held the purse of the group of twelve. We read in the Gospel according to John: “… that he was a thief, and that while looking after the purse he took what was put in for himself” (John 12: 5-6). Being a disciple was not enough for him, he wanted more and more, to the point of selling information to deliver Jesus as discreetly as possible to his enemies. He agreed the price for his master at 30 pieces of silver. Greed in the heart of a man led Christ to the cross!
Then the high priests are ready to pay this sum out of jealousy. They were jealous of the popularity of Jesus Christ at their expense. Jealous of the fact that the whole city abandoned them to meet him. They were ripped apart by jealousy. It was a root of bitterness in their hearts. As for Jesus, he was good, just and holy, blameless. But in spite of all this, their hearts breathed murder towards him. They were envious and jealous in the extreme.
Do we not face the same problems in our lives? Very often, we look with an evil eye at those who others prefer to us, or who are better or wealthier, or more attractive than we are. We envy someone who occupies a public position or those who are under the spotlight, and we are jealous of it for no good reason. Jealousy is a sin that clearly reveals the depravity of our hearts. The jealousy of men led Jesus Christ to the cross. If they did not want to have everything, if the religious leaders had not been jealous, Jesus would never have been crucified.
Then there was Pilate, the governor. He had decided that he wouldn’t condone the death of Christ, but he yielded and he finally listened to the voice of the people. He knew that if he did not yield, he would lose face because he had an image to protect. He wanted the favour and friendship of the people and bought it with a decision to kill Jesus. In the end, he was ready to trample under foot any good principles he had to save face. And if that meant death of an innocent man, it was a price worth paying! Whatever happens, the main thing is to save face.
My friends, the sins that led Christ to the cross are all present in our lives: the lure of gain, jealousy, self-love. We can not deny what happened at the Cross of Calvary. Sins we all commit took Christ to the Cross We all participated in the crucifixion of the Son of God. Even though we were not there in the flesh, it was our sins that took him to that cross on which he took in our place the punishment we deserve.
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