Then Pilate wanting to pacify the crowd freed them Barabbas and handed over Jesus having flogged him so he could be crucified.
- Mark's gospel
"In order to stand up against a force of nature, we often have to find that same elemental nature inside ourselves...Our refusal to stand up to those who harass us on a daily basis...becomes a lack of faith in our own voice...Sometimes we are rightly quiet in the face of dire consequences...but more often than not we are simply living in the shadow of our own fears."
- Crossing the Unknown Sea by David Whyte
How often do I pull a "Pilate" and pacify the crowd? Maybe its the crowd at work or maybe its the crowd of voices spinning in my head. Essentially, its the two or three gathered together, literally or figuratively, that represent a "force of nature" waging a battle against my voice.
Finding your voice is one of the imperatives of being a writer. I believe it also an imperative of being human. I wonder if Jesus was standing there before Pilate and the crowd, wishing, fingers-crossed-hoping and praying that Pilate would have faith in his own voice? It was Pilate's "passover moment" right? That moment in time when the universe was holding its breath, waiting for him to speak against the harassment. But he didn't. Pilate was a man living in the shadow of his own fears.
The common phrase is that "Jesus died for our sins" - sins usually being thought of as things like lust, greed, anger, jealousy. But what would it take for us to ponder, just ponder mind you, that Jesus died for our fears? Could we believe, if for only a moment, that Jesus gloriously disrobed, poised himself on the edge of heaven's board, and then dove down into humanity, into the whale's-belly-womb of a Jewish girl, and after nine months found himself spit out on the dry land of flesh and bone, and then grew in wisdom and stature and called fishermen and tax collectors to follow him, while he spit in the clay and asked who touched me? and urged a man to step out of the boat and took a towel and washed feet and blessed and broke wine and bread and cried drops of blood in a garden until he was ready to drink the cup and suffered the kiss of a friend and allowed himself to be handed over to Pilate...........so that he could go to the cross and die for our fears?
Could he have done all that and more so that you and I might find our own voice? So that we might live up to who he created you and me to be? So that we would not walk in the shadow of our own fears, but daily, courageously bear the cross of our own voice? So that we might have the freedom to speak up, out, or into?
What? What's that I hear? Ah, the crowd is calling for something Barabbas-like, something easier to think about, something expedient. Something like "Jesus died so that I can be less angry." O.k. I'll pacify you. You are a force of nature. Take Barabbas. Forget that voice stuff. Try not to be so jealous as you step into a new morning. And have a nice day.