Thiru was here for a checkup, and stayed on for the Easter weekend. On Good Friday, while some of the family were off in church, the stay-at-homes sang some of appa’s favourite hymns and heard Thiru’s words of wisdom. We read Matthew 27, the story of Jesus trial and death. Some key figures are Judas (who kills himself out of remorse), Pilate (who washes his hands), Jesus (who is crucified and buried), the soldiers, crowds, women and more. Thiru had five main interpretations:
1. The silver coins: These were Judas’ payment/reward for betraying Jesus to the Chief priests and elders. But when Jesus is actually condemned to death, Judas is filled with remorse and tries to return the silver to the Chief priests. They refuse to take it from him – ‘blood money’ they call it. So Judas throws the silver into the temple and leaves, eaten up by remorse and grief. The priests then proceed to pick up the silver and use it to buy a field to bury foreigners (who did not have their own land etc so their burial was a problem!). It is possible to convert a bad or difficult situation into something good.
2. Pilate: He questions Jesus – the Governor had the power to release prisoners – but Jesus remains silent, not answering, not responding to Pilates questioning. Until Pilate asks: “Don’t you realise I have the power (to crucify or release you)?” To which Jesus responds: “The power you have over me is given from above!” (this is all in John btw, not Mathew). However powerful we think we are, true power comes from God.
3. Barabbas: The crowds cried for Barabbas to be released. ‘Bar’ is son in Aramaic, and ‘abba’ is father. So the crowds had a choice between ‘son of the father’ and ‘son of the father’! They had the real/ original and the copy. And they chose the copy. We often have to chose between what is real, and what is an imitation. Which one do we take?
4. The Soldiers: They cast lots for Jesus’ clothes. Obviously valuable enough for them to scrabble over. They valued the possessions – but not the person. We must remember the importance of the person!
5. The unbelievers: The chief priest and pharasees go back to Pilate the Governor and ask that a guard be placed outside the tomb, lest Jesus’ disciples steal his body and claim he was alive. He had predicted his resurrection, and they were afraid it might come true. Afraid enough to go all the way back to Pilate. So somewhere deep down, they believed! Everyone is in the ambit of God’s love – even when we think we don’t believe!
May the peace of easter be with you!