It’s No Act

Did you hear about the play?

It was yesterday in every Catholic Church. The Church put on a play and the Church made all of us be actors. The Church gave us our lines.

The majority of people who acted in the play were part of the chorus and they had two important lines: “Hosanna!” and “Crucify him!”

I was part of the chorus yesterday. Yesterday the Church gave me a script to read and the Church told me that one of my lines was “Crucify him!”

And I was just an actress in the drama, a member of the chorus saying my line, “Crucify him!” Because in real life, I mean when I am not putting on act, when I don’t have a script to read, I would, never, never, say, “Crucify him!”

Oh, yes, I understand that there was this whole crowd in Jerusalem. The crowd that welcomed Christ as he rode into the city. I would have been right there, lined up against the edge of the road with the rest, waving my palm branch and yelling, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” That’s right up my alley, really. I would have loved welcoming Jesus as King and singing his praises.

But this business of gathering outside Pilate’s office to demonstrate for Jesus’ condemnation — I mean really, now that takes some acting. That’s just not me, ya’ know. I love Jesus — I’m all about “Hosanna.” But “Crucify him!” — now that sticks in my throat. I see that line, there on the page, “Crucify him!” and a little piece of me just kind of freezes in horror. I don’t want to say that. I don’t want to be one of those people yelling “Crucify him!” I’m fine with that “Hosanna” crowd, but these people clamoring for Jesus’ death just kind of give me the creeps.

What’s that you say?

Those people who scream “Crucify him!” are the same ones who yelled “Hosanna?”

The same ones.

And they are the ones He died for?

“Crucify him!”

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  • Warren Jewell

    I once wrote a piece about being in the mob before Pilate’s judgment seat. At first, I was of mixed thoughts and feelings about the whole circumstance, considering on the first day of the week, so many had welcomed Jesus of nazareth into Jerusalem like some conquering hero.

    In the end, I was hoarsely calling out “CRUCIFY HIM!” along with the most vocal detractors. The whole suffering Messiah pageant of the Jewish canon we call the Old Testament hit me – especially the verses ending Isaiah 52, and all chapter 53. Thundering in my ears was my own iniquity, for which penalty of mine He had come to bear in His suffering. “CRUCIFY HIM! He just better die – or, I will, and forever.”

  • Warren Jewell

    Ummm – yes, I am a crass, terrible sinner – but I am not a STUPID crass, terrible sinner. “Stupid” just earns no grace, at all, here and about the Passion of the Christ, our Jesus, our Beloved, our Savior. I crash a hammer upon the nails in His hands by the day. And, He is merely upset hat He can’t embrace me, and let me know right then that I am His.

    I consider it gain that I weep as I hammer.