The Jewish Passover was central to events that led to Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, this was the culmination of another important feast of Unleavened Bread, where each household of Israel, ‘God’s people’ had to get rid of every bit of leaven from the house. Today believers want forgiveness (blood) without repentance or cleansing – ridding their lives of sin (leaven). We can’t have the blood and keep the leaven! In that immediate context, contemporary forms of Christianity and ultimate sense, there are three sins by which people still crucify to themselves God’s Son and put him to open shame (Heb. 6:6). Three categories represent this hidden leaven:
1. Pharisees and the sin of Envy / Jealousy:
Thereligious leaders, threatened by rabbi Jesus’ growing popularity cultivated hatred that turned to what Jesus said it really is– murder! Religious politics that crave for positional power to control people is the antithesis of Jesus’ servant-leadership. He denounced this and in the temple, his Father’s house, as he ‘turned tables’ and drove out money changers. This hurt their revenue so they plotted to destroy him. Sadly envy turns hatred and destroys its subjects. All who nurture it do not want God’s Son rule over their sinful hearts. We must put away all envy, malice and pride that set itself against God’s saving grace!
2. Pilate and the sin of Compromise / People-pleasing:
If there was one person who could have dismissed all charges against Jesus, it was Pontus Pilate – the king of the Jews! Pilate represented Roman justice and after Jesus’ trial, confessed: ‘I find no fault in Him’. He understood who Jesus claimed to be and enquired of Him: ‘What is Truth?’ He was warned by his wife, who had a dream, not to have anything to do with Jesus. Why then did he not do right according to conscience?! He wanted to be Caesar’s friend rather than have Christ as Friend and Lord. He feared and eventually pleased the crowd. This sin of compromise puts Truth on the scaffold and wrong on the throne!
3. People of God and the sin of Apathy / Indifference:
Listening to Jesus’ unjust trail and death sentence one wonders where were the multitudes Jesus fed, followers he taught and people he healed?! If the 1st and 2nd sins had socio-religious and economic agendas, the 3rd is existential. People got what they wanted from Jesus for the moment and forgot what they needed most in life and what he really came to give. They were fickle and could be bought to cry either ‘Hosanna’ or ‘Crucify him’. Bodily needs and ‘the cares of this life’ ruled the day and what they did with Jesus! Physical blessings are no guarantee for spiritual commitment to Jesus who is the Way, Truth and Life!
Christ’s call to Christians is to take up their cross and follow him (Lk.9:23; 14:27). ‘I’m crucified with Christ’ is an all-out commitment to Christ’s mission on earth viz. to put away sin once-and-for-all by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26). On the Cross he cried ‘It is finished’ – stamped on invoices ‘paid in full’! If Jesus paid it all then all to Him I owe! We crucify Jesus “again” and sin against the Cross when like Pharisees we fail to recognize his Lordship, or like Pilate compromise not acting on truth or the crowd use faith to get what we want. Let’s not hold back but express commitment and loving serve our Lord Jesus!