Maundy Thursday – The Crucifixion of Jesus
At suppertime on Maundy Thursday, Jesus was on top. Revered by friends who called him host to their dinner table, grateful just to break bread with him, he was a man of authority and respect. But outside that room, in other social circles, Jesus knows what it is to be on the margins. He has been spat on, called names, and sentenced to death for his ethnicity and his refusal to submit to the demands of those in power outside his walls. Those who have found him guilty of refusing to obey the law shout, “Crucify him!”
But Jesus does not shout them down, exclude them from his circle until they can be proven safe, or even exclude them from the Kingdom of Heaven. He does not declare himself different than these thugs, the hardworking son of a good family. Nor does he erase the wide differences in experience that brought them all, Jesus and the clerics and the criminals and the soldiers, to that hilltop.
Instead, he places themselves among them. He asks God’s forgiveness for the people who have pushed him to the margins, and God’s blessing on those in the margins with him. He denies the insistent teaching that some people are better than others. He prays for love.
The miracle of Jesus’ life is in this: God made the costly choice to live a human life like ours. Our bodies, our lives, are sometimes mainstream and sometimes on the margin. It is a difficult life to lead, but we walk alongside a savior who knew just how hard it is to love in a world of sin, who taught us to pray for love.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to hear the voices of those on the margins, calling for us to be your people alongside them. And when we are most deeply hurt, most deeply afraid, most deeply lost, help us to hear your voice on the hilltop, calling us to love and to paradise.
– Katherine Blaisdell