Monday, April 14, 2014

Palm Sunday and Passover - Holy Week

Today is Palm Sunday in Brockport and, of course, around the world where Christianity is recognized if not practiced. It is the day that Jesus had a mock procession down the Mt. Olives into Jerusalem while Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Idumea, Judea, and Samaria entered Jerusalem from the West side leading a column of imperial Roman cavalry and soldiers. It must have been quite a day in Jerusalem. Jesus was a bit of a clown mocking the imperial power kind of like the Occupy people of this decade.

Jesus, as you know if you are a Christian, was warned not to go because there was bound to be trouble, and Jesus, what a guy, told them to get lost, He was going anyway no matter what, and He went, and we all know what happened. The warnings turned out to be accurate. He got Himself killed.

There have been hard times in my life too as well, I would guess in yours, when we were asked to do things we didn't want to do, or felt we needed to stand up for things on the principle of the thing. Were you brave? Are you brave? Did you find the courage and faith to move ahead in spite of the fear which presented itself to you. It is rare these days, especially in our public life, to observe people who do the right thing in spite of personal risks to their own well being, physically, psychologically, emotionally, religiously, spiritually.

I don't buy the substitutionary theology of most so called Christian churches. Jesus did not die for our sins. What kind of a god would ask any person to do such a thing? It is ridiculous if you step back and study it apart from the indoctrination of what we have been traditionally taught.

Jesus went to Jerusalem not to sacrifice Himself to God to atone for my sins and your sins but to demonstrate in a very dramatic way that there are things that are more important in Life than our physical bodies. Yes, people can kill you and torture you and mock you and ridicule you and shun you and exile you, but they can't destroy your soul unless you let them. Jesus demonstrated that all that you have is your soul, don't give your soul away. Whether His physical body was literally resurrected or not is to miss the point. Who cares? His spirit was resurrected when He doubted and He moved forward anyway proclaiming the Good News and doing the right thing. They killed His body and yet His Spirit lives on. Alleluia!

Passover, the annual Jewish ritual celebrating the Jews escape from Egypt, is celebrated tomorrow, Monday, April 14th, at sundown. Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover in what is known as the Last Supper and in the Christian calender is celebrated on Thursday of Holy Week. As most people know, but a surprising number don't know, Jesus was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, and died a Jew albeit in disgrace.

Tracey Chapman teaches us the same lesson that Jesus demonstrated: All That You Have Is Your Soul

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