The execution of Jesus Christ was political murder by the klepto class, done with the force of the state, because he demanded lovingkindness, justice, mercy, and the forgiveness of debts.
You may have been pre-occupied with other things this Easter season, like all the rest of us this year, and couldn’t make it to church, or refresh your memory of the story. Perhaps you were caught up in thoughts of plastic eggs, or perhaps you attend a church which likes to pass over where Jesus says, “Love one another,” so that the teaching can get straight to the important part about obedience–which skips the whole point of the law to focus instead on enforcement and punishment, pain and suffering. However, the story tells us why he was killed, not just why he died.
We like to think that Jesus was outside the mainstream of his society, and he was, much as Mr. Rogers was outside the mainstream of ours, but he was grounded in and closely in line with Jewish tradition. One might even call him a fundamentalist. And in that tradition he took exception to the abuse of authority.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. [emphasis mine]Mark 11:15-18 (NIV)
There might have been a riot, and then where would they be?
So perhaps it’s not surprising to find that a number of the voices calling, not for an examination of their souls but for the violent imposition of Law and Order–by which they mean Power and Obedience–are those same voices who, given every opportunity to do so, insist that God teaches us that it is vastly more important to obey rather than to care, to exploit rather than nurture. It is they who, seemingly in all cases, put the interests of the powerful above the meek, despite every evidence to the contrary from the text.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8 (ESV)
Nor is it surprising to find widespread outrage at yet another blatant murder by agents of the state. Because, believe it or not, most people think thou shalt not kill.
Caring for others is not some grand conspiracy by deviants, anarchists, and Marxists. It is the very minimum that your mother expects of you.