Sunday, April 24, 2011

Politicians, Public Servants, Religious Leaders and Easter

Dr. E. Eugene Webb

A little over 2,011 years ago a guy who many of us believe arrived on this earth via a miraculous birth began speaking out to the people. At the time he was just about 30 years old. At first dismissed by religious leaders as a flash in the pan, his popularity began to grow. For the next three years he would push the limits of civil and religious law. Soon, he was on the radar of not only the right wing religious leaders but also the politicians. His inner circle of twelve were not the most sophisticated of their time, but they had a charismatic feel about them.

As he moved about the countryside the number of his followers began to grow. The crowds were bigger and more fervent. The religious leaders were in a frenzy as he questioned their law and their motives. The political establishment, while reluctant to enter into what appeared to be a religious dispute, were becoming concerned. The people were uneasy and a revolt might threaten the political establishment. The religious leaders on the far right began to pressure the political elite for swift action. They wanted their old laws preserved and this perceived threat eliminated. The politicians handed the problem to a dutiful public servant who carefully reviewed the facts. Being politically correct, he found no reasons for pursuing the religious leader's desire of putting their problem to death. When the public servant offered to release him, the religious right flew into a rage chose instead a thief. The public servant, weary of the fray, released Jesus to the religious leaders who took it upon themselves to put him to death in a most insidious way. Then there were the circumstances of his resurrection. An empty tomb, reported sightings and resurgence of his movement and a promise to return.

For the next two millennia no single individual would have the effect on government, politics, religion and life itself as this one person. 2000 years later religious leaders still pressure for their way, politicians maneuver and public servants to often wash their hands of the problems. One can only image he must wonder if we have learned anything from Easter.

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