8. Jesus Before the Priests (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard
“Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy.’” -- Matthew 26:65 (RSV)
The police arrested Jesus and took him straight to the priests -- the ones that Jesus had often accused of hypocrisy. They rigorously enforced minor laws, while neglecting the purpose of the law: justice, love and faith. They were like today’s church officials who put ministers on trial for blessing same-gender relationships or ordaining lesbians and gays. The priests interrogated Jesus for hours, trying to get him to say something that could be used against him. When they asked about his teachings, Jesus replied, Why ask me? Ask those who heard me. At that, an officer struck him, snarling, Is that how you answer the high priest?! The priests watched the violence with bland indifference. There were some good men among them, but they accepted their role as part of the system. They kept silent as evil triumphed again. Violence in God’s name was routine. The unthinkable had become normal.
God, I listen to YOU, even when it goes against what the priests say.
Next: 9. Jesus Before the Magistrate
The Banality of Evil from Triumph of the Market by finance professor Edward S. Herman
Jesus is sentenced to death (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry.
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Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.