Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Saturday - Messiah for rich and poor

One of the things that I and many others often focus on is that Jesus was and is a champion of the poor. That poor people exist is a testament in general (factors of sloth, etc notwithstanding) of systems of economic injustice. This was certainly the case in first century Palestine and it is also the case today. It is not as if being poor is more holy in and of itself - but the poor in Jesus day were more aware of their needs. Riches can act as thorns and weeds among the seeds that is the gospel.

But Paul rightly identifies that it is the love of money rather than money itself that is evil. Industry and hard work - though along side with trust, generosity and Sabbath rest, are all emphasised in the bible.

So when Jesus comes to be buried in John 19, it shouldn't be a surprise that men of influence ask for his body and arrange his burial. Joseph of Arimathea is a disciple in secret for fear of the Jews (Judeans), and Nicodemus was the one who came at night, though publicly spoke up for Jesus in the Sanhedrin. It seems to me that these comments, if they are condemnatory, are only vaguely so. There is perhaps a time to be silent, and a time to speak up. In any event, it is these two men who make provision for the body of Jesus to be laid in a tomb.

On Easter Saturday, we should not forget that we know the end of the story - even if we don't fully understand it. These people did not. We are stuck with a pregnant pause - the man who attracted men and women, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile lies dead. For those who followed him, it all seems over.

No comments:

Post a Comment