Day 85: The Trial of Christ (595-598)
It’s Day 85!!
Yesterday we talked about how Jesus FULFILLS the Temple
We talked about how Jesus recognizes that there is a scandal that Christ offers in the fact that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS
Not only did He claim to be the Messiah
He claimed EQUALITY WITH GOD HIMSELF
Because of this Jesus becomes the CRUX
Because of this Jesus becomes the TURNING POINT OF HISTORY
NOT merely because He CLAIMED to be God
Jesus DEMONSTRATED that HE ACTUALLY IS GOD
Paragraph 591 says, “The members of the Sanhedrin were thus acting at the same time out of ‘ignorance’ and the ‘hardness’ of their ‘unbelief.’”
ALL OF US ARE IN THAT SAME BOAT!!
Today we are taking the next step
PARAGRAPH 2: JESUS DIED CRUCIFIED
We are going to look at Jesus’ trial today
Tomorrow is CHRIST’S REDEMPTIVE DEATH IN GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION
Today we will look at what is the role of the Jewish People when it comes to the Death of our Lord Jesus
The reason the Church addresses this is because over 2,000 years there have been people who at various times have attributed the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus to particular Jews at the time
To the Jewish People AS A WHOLE
The Church wants to set the record straight when it comes to this question
The Church is ultimately saying that there were divisions among the Jewish authorities concerning Jesus
Yes, there were some who were calling for His death and conspired with the Romans
There were also DIVISIONS among the Jewish authorities
There were people like Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus, the Pharisee
After Christ’s Resurrection, many Pharisees professed FAITH in Jesus
Paragraph 596 says, “The religious authorities in Jerusalem were not unanimous about what stance to take toward Jesus.”
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THIS!!
The Church wants to make it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to Christians and TO THE ENTIRE WORLD that the Jews are NOT COLLECTIVELY RESPONSIBLE FOR JESUS’ DEATH
THAT IS NOT THE CASE!!
NOT AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH!!
The heading for Paragraph 598 is: ALL SINNERS WERE THE AUTHORS OF CHRIST’S PASSION
We are going to have some pretty big declarative documents like the Roman Catechism
We also have St Francis of Assisi back in the day
I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR CHRIST’S DEATH
EVERY SINNER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHRIST’S DEATH
The clarification today is that there are some people who erroneously said that the responsibility for Christ’s death is at the feet of the Jews
These people have interpreted Scripture
For example when it says, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
They were taking the blame essentially
The Church is saying, “NO! THAT IS NOT THE CASE!”
WE ALL SHARE THE BLAME!!
EVERY HUMAN BEING!!
EVERY PERSON ON THIS PLANET!!
WE SHARE IN THE BLAME!!
IT WAS MY SIN THAT KILLED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!!
I HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT MYSELF!!
IT WAS OUR SIN COLLECTIVELY THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF JESUS
WE HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT OURSELVES!!
HOPE THAT MAKES SENSE!!
Let’s start with a prayer and ask our Lord to make this clear
Not only make this clear, but let’s also ask God our Father to recognize the Chosen People, the Jewish People ARE NOT REJECTED BY OUR LORD
They continue to be LOVED BY GOD
They continue to have that COVENANT
They are just SO MUCH MORE
We pray not only for ourselves and for our own hearts
We pray for reconciliation
We pray for that fulfillment to take place in our day and age
That we all come to know Jesus fully
And also that the Jewish People come to know Jesus fully
And that ALL PEOPLE come to know Christ fully
So let’s pray!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we give you glory. We thank you. We thank you for giving us your Son. We thank you that in the midst of our brokenness your Son, Jesus Christ, He loves us. He loves us and He gives Himself up for us. That He loved us and He gave Himself up for every one of us. There is not one person on this planet who has ever lived, is living, or will live, for whom you did not die. For whom you did not rise from the dead. So we ask you, please to change our hearts, to heal our hearts, but also to heal brokenness. And whatever kind of division there is between the Christian People and the Jewish People, heal whatever kind of division there is between the People of the Covenant and the People of the New Covenant. Lord God, you love us. We also ask that you please help all of us to deep and full conversion. Those of us who profess faith in Jesus, we ask you to please knit our hearts together and help us to be fully belonging to you. And also, the Jewish People, with whom you have established your Covenant, we ask that you please bring them to knowledge of you as well. Because there is no one whom you did not die for. There is no one whom you do not live for. There is no one to whom you do not extend your Grace. So help us all to say YES to your Grace this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
So there we are!!
Fr. Mike is so grateful for this
Not only because we get some clarity
The clarity is that The Church DOES NOT lay the responsibility for the death of Jesus at the feet of the Jews
We take it upon OURSELVES
We will come back to that in a second…
Fr. Mike was in Israel years ago
He was visiting Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Museum
At one point there was this Jewish man from California with his family
They started talking
The Jewish man was relatively upset
Yad Vashem is an INCREDIBLY EMOTIONAL PLACE
The DEVASTATION that one is reminded of cannot be UNSEEN and cannot be FORGOTTEN
This Jewish man was MASSIVE and towered over Fr. Mike
They had a “pleasant exchange” where both men were confused
The Jewish man said, “Get back here!”
He was perplexed and emotional
He said, “You said you’re Christian, right? Here’s what I don’t understand. You Christians believe that we Jews crucified Jesus, that we killed Jesus, that we are responsible for His death. And yet, you claim His death is the thing that saved humanity and saved your life. It gave you new life. So wait a second. How can we be blamed for this, the greatest thing that ever happened? Why do you hate us for this greatest thing that ever happened? Because if we killed Him and His death is what gave you Life, then why do you hate Jews so much?”
(Sigh…..my fingers hurt 😜)
(Now where were we??)
Fr. Mike thought this was a very loaded moment and prayed, “Holy Spirit come.”
He answered, “Ok first of all, I’m a Catholic Christian. And as Catholics we do not believe that the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus. That’s the first thing. There may have been Christians who said this over the course of the 2,000 year history of The Church. What we believe as Catholic Christians, and this is our official stance, is NO.”
Vatican Council II in Paragraph 597 says, “Neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion…The Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.”
Ok so now we rejoin Fr. Mike and the big huge Jewish man from California having a “pleasant exchange”...
Fr. Mike said to him, “We don’t believe that.”
That allayed some of the Jewish man’s anxiety and emotion
Fr. Mike continued, “What we ultimately believe is that all sinners were the authors of Christ’s Passion.”
Paragraph 598 says, “Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself, the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torments inflicted upon Jesus, a responsibility with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone…”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!
Ok once again, back to the “pleasant exchange”...
Fr. Mike said to the Jewish man from California, “No we don’t blame the Jews. We blame ourselves. I recognize that it was MY sins that crucified Jesus.”
The Jewish man replied, “Ok. But how can this worse thing be the best thing?”
Then Fr. Mike turned to the Old Testament which Christians and Jews share
In the Hebrew Scriptures we have the story of Joseph and his brothers in the Book of Genesis
What happened there?
Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery
After all the trials that Joseph goes through and God is with him the entire time, he gets to this place and he is made second in command next to Pharaoh
Because of this he has the authority to spare the people from famine with God working through him
There was to be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine
Because of that he was able to feed his family and save their lives
We all know the story, right?
Joseph reconciles with his brothers
The entire family moves to Egypt
Then their father, Jacob (Israel) dies
What happens next?
Jacob (Israel) is now dead and the brothers are afraid of Joseph’s retribution
The brothers said, “Yeah, well our father Jacob (Israel) was alive and Joseph spared us. But now that our father is gone, Joseph is going to destroy us.”
When Joseph hears this, he is heartbroken and he weeps
Joseph says, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good. When you intended evil in selling me off, God used it for good.”
ONCE AGAIN we rejoin the “pleasant exchange”...
Fr. Mike pointed this out to the Jewish man from California, “You and I believe that God can take even the worst brokenness and bring about a great good. We believe that is what happened. My sins crucified Jesus and that was the worst thing that ever happened.”
Ok I think Fr. Mike is talking about YOU AND I in Catechism in a Year and not YOU AND I referring to his “pleasant exchange” with the Jewish man from California
I’m so dizzy now!!
Ok we are going to be meditating on Jesus’ trial and crucifixion
This is the worst thing that ever happened
God used it to bring about THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED
WHICH IS OUR SALVATION!!
WHICH IS OUR REDEMPTION!!
WE CANNOT TRY TO LAY THE BLAME ON ANYONE OTHER THAN OURSELVES!!
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
The Roman Catechism in Paragraph 598 says, “We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, ‘None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’ We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him.”
ISN’T THAT INCREDIBLE??
WE HOWEVER PROFESS TO KNOW HIM!!
WHAT DO WE DO???
WE RETURN TO OUR SINS!!
WE RETURN TO OUR SHALLOWNESS!!
WE RETURN TO OUR LITTLENESS!!
WE RETURN TO OUR PETTINESS!!
WE RETURN TO EVIL!!
WE RETURN TO SAYING NO TO HIM!!
St Francis of Assisi in Paragraph 598 says, “It is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins.” 🤯 🤯 🤯
DEMONS DID NOT CRUCIFY JESUS!!
IT IS YOU!!
IT IS I!!
IT IS WE WHO HAVE CRUCIFIED HIM AND CRUCIFY HIM STILL WHEN WE DELIGHT IN OUR VICES AND SINS!!
This is not meant to be HEAPING COALS ON OUR HEADS
It is meant to say, I MAY NOT EVER TRY TO EVADE BLAME
I WILL ONLY AND ALWAYS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY PART!!
BECAUSE MY PART IN CHRIST’S PASSION IS REAL!!
If my part in Christ’s Passion IS NOT REAL then my share in His Resurrection IS NOT REAL
If He did not lay down His life out of love for me then He can’t share the Resurrection out of love for me
This is worth praying and reflecting on and not letting it crush you or condemn you
But let it turn us to Jesus and trust Him in our brokenness so that we can trust Him in His Glory
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!