Another Sunday past; another excellent lesson. This Sunday, we were studying Matthew 20:17-19, and the facilitator (whose name shall remain anonymous to protect the innocent) brought to the forefront of our discussion the typical apathy with which we regard the sufferings of our Lord. He taught, that though we claim to cherish the cross and what it afforded us, we demonstrate that we do not cherish it by our willingness to continue in the sins that put Christ on the cross, for every sin that we commit is a spitting on the face of Christ, and every conceived lust is a laceration on his back.
The facilitator also made an excellent observation that caused me to think of a different aspect of the passage. In the Gospel of Matthew, there are three distinct instances where Christ foretells his death to his disciples. In the first instance in vv. 16:21-23, Christ says that he must suffer many thing from the elders, chief priests, and scribes. In the second instance, vv. 17:22, 23, Christ says that he will be delivered into the hands of men. And in the third instance, vv. 20:17-19, Christ says that he will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes and then that he would be delivered over to the Gentiles. In each of these instances we find Christ naming a different group of men who would be responsible for his death.
Are these differences mere coincidences? I think not, for I believe that Matthew’s intention is to include the world in the guilt of the murder of Christ. The Jews cannot be exempted for they had the Prophets and still rejected the Messiah. The religious leaders cannot be exempted because they loved their traditions more that God, so much so that they killed God to keep them. The Gentiles cannot be exempted for Pontius Pilate and the Romans knew that Christ was innocent, yet they condemned him anyways. The whole world killed God, and the whole world has his blood on her hands no matter how many times she tries to wash her hands of it.
“Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”1 We cannot deny that we were, and we open up his wounds afresh every time we sin so that his blood might be poured out on us again.
Categories: Quick Thoughts