- Posted August 10, 2011 by
Watertown, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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"Give Us Barabbas!" Some Americans Say...Again
History has many ironies from which we can learn, reflect and arrive at different conclusions than we did the first time we witnessed an event.
Christians know the story of Jesus's crucifixion and how the masses chose a hardened criminal, Barabbas, over Jesus.
Barabbas wanted an armed but limited rebellion and insurrection against the Roman Government.
He looked to Jesus to take the lead in this rebellion. Jesus said, "That it was not by the sword, but by the word of God" that change would come about."
Barabbas wanted Civil War.
Jesus wanted people to co-operate..to "give Caesar what was Caesar's".
What do we have now? History does repeat itself.
We have the opportunity to chose more wisely.
Do we choose Barabbas or a voice of compassion and reason?
Photos are of the stained glass in the church in Kidron Valley and of Jame's Tissot's "Barabbas".
"In the Kidron valley is a church built on a rock cut cave that is the tomb of Mary, mother of Jesus.
Through the centuries the cruciform (in the shape of a cross) church was destroyed many times but the facade and wide staircase descending to the tomb is from the Crusader period.
In a courtyard off the Via Dolorosa in the Old City is a small church that reminds me of the Crusader church.
The Church of the Flagellation, marks the Second Station of the Cross, where according to tradition, Roman soldiers flogged Jesus and placed a crown of thorns on his head after he was brought to Pontius Pilate.
Probably the most impressive part of the church are three large stained glass windows:
on the left, Pilate washing his hands of the affair,
on the right, the victory cry of Barabbas,
in front, the flogging of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns amidst the soldiers.
Above is a dome in gold mosaic and decorated with a crown of thorns intertwined with flowers.
"Barabbas is a figure in the Christian narrative of the Passion of Jesus, in which he is the insurrectionary whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem.
The penalty for Barabbas' crime was death by crucifixion.
There was a prevailing Passover custom in Jerusalem that allowed Pilate, the governor of Judea, to commute one prisoner's death sentence by popular acclaim.
The "crowd" were offered a choice of whether to have Barabbas or Jesus Christ released from Roman custody.
The crowd chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified.
A passage in the Gospel of Matthew has the crowd saying, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children". And so it is. Can we redeem ourselves in this moment of time? Will we?
The story of Barabbas has special social significance's, because it has historically been used to lay the blame for the crucifixion of Jesus on the Jews.
We are all spiritual "Jews".
We all share in the responsibility of Christ's crucifixion.
Fast forward to today. Many are calling for Barabbas to lead us again.
They blame Obama for the woes of our country. It's not his fault but yet they want to crucify him.
"We want leadership! Not someone whose willing to compromise on our budget cuts and ways to get our economy going again," say Democrats and Republicans.
Gandhi comes to mind. We know how he prevailed against a stronger better funded adversary.
It's hard to hear the voice of reason when the crowd's noise is so loud.
Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty. There's blood on both Party's hands.
The choice for our country is clear. Do we chose Barabbas? Or do we choose to do what's right for "those least among us"?
Will the strength of the quieter voice of reason and compassion prevail this time?