Thursday, April 05, 2012
The Passionate Antagonists: 4 Barabbas and the Crowd
What makes a crowd call out in favour of someone who has proven guilt of being a revolutionary and a murderer? Was it simply the incitement of the Chief Priests whipping the crowds up into a frenzy, or was the notoriety of Barabbas so compelling? Would he be the person to succeed where Jesus failed in the eyes of those who sought freedom from the Roman Regime?
In this age we have the cult of celebrity. The nature of what it means to be a "celebrity" does not seem to be very well-defined. Some celebrities are singers, others are actors, some are heroes for climbing Everest or presenting fascinating television programmes. Others are celebrities for no other reason than they have just been in the right place at the right time. Yet others are famous for being infamous - the Kray twins, Katie Price, Monica Lewinsky. Sometimes we choose the wrong role models in life - people who have done nothing to make being human praiseworthy. Yet, there are plenty of people who make one very proud to be a human being because they fight against oppression. Some fighters, however, are fighting for causes which are less than honourable, or a fighting for good causes in less than honourable ways.
It is often the case that Jesus is rejected in favour of someone more glamorous, or because we have decided to follow the crowd rather than been discerning in our choice of exemplar. Whom do we prize most of all as our hero, today? Why?