From the Gospel of John;
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
This is interesting stuff that Jesus says here and is recounted today in Catholic churches in the Passion of Christ. Jesus says two very important things which most cultural Christians don't seem to understand. Jesus says that His kingdom is not of this world. Most of the religious right don't get this. I think us UUs do though. And secondly Jesus says that He comes to testify to the truth and that people who are searching for the truth listen to His voice. Pilate doesn't get it and sarcastically says, "What is truth?"
And they kill Him, the seeker, the lover, the one who couldn't care less about political power because His heart is set elsewhere.
Today, we remember what He came to not only tell us but to show us. Would that we watch and learn.
As a Unitarian Universalist I love Jesus and I love what He tried to do during His short life. He was misunderstood by His own disciples - Peter will deny him 3 times - and yet He stood by his convictions and was true to His vision of His and our relationship with the God of the universe.
The way to the kingdom He said over and over and over again is to love. In His love He empowered the poor, the oppressed, the discriminated against, and He condemned the pretense, the hypocrisy, the dominating power structures of His day. And so they killed Him.
The same thing goes on today when they killed John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Malcom X, and imprison and incarcerate people like Daniel and Phil Berrigan and thousands of other people who would stand up for truth, justice, and love.
The story of Jesus is a very powerful story of what one person can do to resist domination, subjugation, and discrimination by secular powers. Of course He gave His life for His belief.
Where are the Jesuses of today?
Have a Good Friday remembering a brave soul who changed the world.