In the final analysis, the thing wound up killing itself.

Fear is a powerful thing.  Fear moves us to actions we wouldn’t even consider if it weren’t present.  Luke 22: 1-2 says that the chief priests and the teachers of the law were afraid.  Unfortunately, as so often goes with fear, they sought not to confront their fear or deal with the source of their fear but to destroy what they thought was creating their fear.  They sought to destroy Jesus, not because he was the threat but because they thought he was their fear’s catalyst.  So, they committed the atrocity of putting to death the Son of God.

The chief priests and teachers of the law were the leaders of the spiritual community.  People followed them and looked to them for guidance about conducting their lives.  As so often goes with us humans, it went to their heads.  That kind of power and control corrupts and holding on to it becomes our chief aim.  This makes them no different than our present day CEO’s or politicians or leaders in any organization who are given the power to unilaterally shape and configure the lives of others.  This is not a condemnation of them or those in positions of that type today, merely a fact of human nature.  Once in this type of position because of their own fear they worried about the people taking back their lives or deciding they no longer needed them.  Deep down what they feared was the fickle nature of the human spirit.

Getting rid of Jesus wasn’t addressing the actual source of their fear, they feared the people themselves.  It seems funny to be afraid of those who admire you.  Still, they chose as we so often do to focus on the ancillary target, not the core.  It’s like weight loss for some.  We focus on cutting carbs, reducing fat or adding exercise because we believe those things will make us slimmer while we ignore the internal feelings of shame, guilt, envy or a host of others that make us overeat or avoid exercise.  The same could be said for conspicuous consumption or consumerism.  We get the big house, fancy car and the nicest clothes because we’re afraid of being seen as “less than”.  Condemn the chief priests if you want to but don’t miss that log in your own eye.  The beauty of this whole process surrounding Jesus death is of course the death of one of our biggest fears.

It’s a convoluted concept to be sure but Jesus’s death brought about the end of our biggest fear, the fear of death.  He had to first be killed so he could rise from the dead thereby proving that eternal life is possible, even certain, as God promised.  God used Jesus’s death to defeat death and the priests’ fear to defeat fear.  That’s my kind of irony.  It’s an irony that people have a hard time wrapping their head around though, I’m afraid (there’s that word again).  Let’s just face it, as humans we are a highly flawed unit.  We do things for the wrong reasons, focus our efforts in the wrong directions and we’re a mess with introspection and problem solving.  The cool thing is that God knows that and he uses our own mistakes to teach us.

God had things planned out back when Jesus walked the earth and I’m convinced he has them all planned out today.  He has the capacity to forgive the mistakes and screw-ups we will certainly make and he’s shown us that with the belief in him and acceptance of his Son as our savior we have the promise of eternal life with Him.  Death?  Crushed.  Fear? Obliterated.  Once and for all.  All who believe.

This little example isn’t “the hair of the dog” or “get back on the horse” or even “two negatives make a positive” but it’s certainly about as counterintuitive as you can get.  Come to think of it, it’s about as curious as trying to figure out the meaning of life, unless you believe it is what gives life meaning.  I hope you liked this and you’ll share it with a friend.

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