Here is my short homily for tonight. We are doing a Tenebrae service where we start in total light and descend into darkness.

He didn’t deserve this.

He never deserved this.

For what?

Telling people to be nice to each other and speaking in riddles? For healing people and feeding people?


But he made them nervous – so they made an example out of him.

But they didn’t need to do it like this – they could have just killed him and been done with it.

Crosses are cruel. They are torture.  They are not just death – they are spectacle.

Crosses are designed to humiliate the victim and intimidate the rest of us.

They are tools of terror meant to scare the rest of us into submission.

He didn’t deserve this. He got scapegoated.  They always do this.

When the pressure builds too much it has be vented. The machine has to blow off steam before there is a rebellion.

They choose a goat and they blame and place all the guilt on its head.

What do you do when the goat is innocent and goes silently like a lamb led to slaughter?

He said nothing when he had the chance to defend himself. Now he says things like ‘forgive them, they know not what they are doing’.

The angels are not coming to save him. They would if he would cry out. But he won’t.

Instead he is exposing the system. He is laying bare the powers that be and exposing the scapegoat mechanism.  IT doesn’t work … to scapegoat others. It never worked.

God sent us this man some call the Christ. And we killed him.

It is almost as if God is saying through him, “you do this to the innocent, you do this to my servants, and you would even do this to me”.

Someone needs to break this system of scapegoating. Someone needs finish this once and for all.   Someone needs to say, “don’t do this to anyone anymore … it is finished.”