Hey friends, this is a Spoken Word performance that I gave with Yale University Students in CT. About the three fateful days from Jesus’s crucifixion to resurrection, told from the viewpoint of a modern day disciple.
I wonder how they could yell Barabbas instead of Jesus.
I wonder how they sang Hosanna and days later, Crucify him.
I wonder how Pontius could wash his hands of it, as though a dirty conscience could be so easily cleaned.
But — I am Barabbas, sinner set free.
I yell Crucify him as I sing praises with ease.
I am Pontius, who turned a blind eye to glory.
And yet, so Christ still died for me.
Still he died, where I should be,
a perfect love on that tree.
You’ve been in meltdown before, when the world felt unusually cruel and your insides collapsed and there weren’t enough tears to cry through your heaving convulsing sobs. Like the wind was uppercut out of your soul.
It’s not pretty. Not like the movies. It’s not dramatic or cathartic or ironic or Oscar-worthy — it’s ugly, snot all over, face puckered in fifty places, bowled over with all kinds of noises spewing from your guts.
I was reading John 20, and Mary Magdalene was there too.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying.
I read this and grew horribly sad, imagining her hunched over and hopeless. Her world was punched through. I knew how she felt.
The man they called Savior, who had rebuked seven demons out of Mary and had been bathed by her family’s precious perfume, was now just a cold lifeless body in an airtight tomb. Along with his body were the dreams of a different future.
How do we actually love someone? What does it mean that God loves us? What is the “Christian” concept of love? Why is it unique?
Defining the gritty, painful, crazy depth of love in two and a half minutes.