by Amanda Viviers
When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” John 19:5-6
One Easter I stood in the midst of a Passion Promenade Theatre. This kind of performance is when the audience, becomes a part of the presentation and the theatre piece moves locations with the dialogue.
We started inside the auditorium with the Last Supper, enjoying the feast of friend and foe. Then we walked together, (eight hundred seekers) and I, towards the place where He was persecuted, the Garden of Gethsemene. As the lighting shifted with green shades and tone, I felt my heart beating as I was swept into the reality of a story that can feel so distant and long ago.
“When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
I stood there wondering truly what it felt like for Christ, to be persecuted by his friends and family.
Then somewhere from the crowd, an anonymous person started to scream and yell. They shouted and criticised. They screamed and I turned my head to see who it was among us that was shouting at my friend Christ, Jesus.
Suddenly the noise grew stronger and viler. More and more people started shouting and I realised by just being there, by standing in the crowd and by doing nothing I was not only a spectator but a part of the people.
As I listened and watched, turned and hated, I realised that the pack mentality is as prevalent today as it has ever been.
As a writer, I spend most of my days in public forums, hopefully starting conversations that matter. The modern day Sanhedrin I see awakening in our online courtrooms that judge and condemn in the most sickening ways.
Have you ever watched an online debate unfold and just stepped back out of fear of persecution?
Have you ever been on the receiving end of public backlash?
I often wonder, if people heard the things that they typed in a public forum or meeting from the stage, whether they would communicate with such hatred and judgement.
Every word that comes forth from our hearts, whether typed or spoken has the capacity to bring life or death. When we take part in public debate and referendum about stories that include people who are vulnerable and weak, the power of the collective voice can be overwhelmingly decisive.
How is your voice adding to the collective voice of our earth?
Is it from a place of criticism, offence and persecution?
Or is it based on love, acceptance and grace?
I often hear the crowd online shout collectively “Crucify, crucify, we want blood and we want revenge.”
Softly echoing through anger and pointed keyboards.
“Crucify, crucify, their voice and opinion are not our own.”
Tapping away, silently hiding behind computer screens.
“Crucify, crucify, hatred is rising and love wanes here.”
When was the last time you went along with the crowd shouting “Crucify, crucify”, and the story of an innocent man was left reeling in your wake?
These, my friends, are the difficulties of our times. These, my friends, are the places where persecution and death prevails.
This is the crucified Christ unveiled in our courtrooms of today.