Friday, March 17
Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'”
When I was growing up, my mother had a standard line for when her children came running to her, fingers pointed at each other. As we simultaneously explained how each other was responsible for the terrible thing that had just happened, she, hands on hips, would say “Ah, yes. First, we must place blame.”
My special talent for blaming others has only improved with age. Smog in the air? Those polluting companies (I, of course, work for a university with a green CoGen power plant). Poisonous social discourse? Partisans—right and left— who paint the other side with too broad a brush (I, of course, am a political independent who sees both sides fairly).
Those false witnesses pointing their fingers at Jesus? They are me and you every day. As the chief priests and all the council, we are confronted with the real Christ, the truly blameless, and yet we grasp for whatever we can to pin on him, too. We claim innocence, but only through our guilt may God redeem us.
Let us pray…Dear Lord, it is only in your purity that we, the rightfully accused, are made clean again. Let your light shine through our brokenness, cleansing our hearts so that we may be one with you. Amen.