Palm Sunday = Passion Sunday (Year C)
The criminal on the neighbouring cross cried out – ‘This man has done nothing wrong’. Pilate had a sign attached to the cross above the head Jesus – as was the custom in the Roman Empire, to provide the charge that had been made against the victim of crucifixion – this man was a rebel; thief; murderer; run-away slave; etc. The accusation against Jesus reads ‘King of the Jews.’ This was meant to be ironic, since clearly he was not the king of the people who accused him of making claims to deny support to the Empire, and leading the people astray. The criminal was correct – no, this man had done nothing wrong – except forgive sins, heal and offer new hope and life to a people who desperately needed it.
There was an appropriateness in the fact that Jesus died between two sinners / criminals. He had after all spent the last few years almost exclusively in their company. He seemed good at finding all the wrong kind of people to hang out with. He even seemed to prefer the company of sinners. Perhaps he was trying to teach us something there?
Recorded at St Michael’s (9.30am and 6pm)