Religion is Revolution?
March 20, 2010
Jesus was murdered. He wasn’t murdered for being too nice. He was murdered because he was politically inconvenient. The Pharisees were pushing for rebellion against Rome (an objective that was achieved in 66AD and crushed four years later). The Sadducees were the opposite, they were in power and therefore opposed any revolutionary action. Jesus knocked over both of these apple carts. He said to the Pharisees that they were hypocritical and had a small view of revolution. They sought to restore Israel but Jesus stated that the inheritance of the people of God was not a small sliver of land in the middle east but the whole earth (Matthew 5:5). To the Saducees, who denied that God would resurrect the dead and wanted status quo, Jesus promised uphevel (which did come too soon thanks the the revolutionary Pharisees) and then showed resurrection (starting with himself but promised to all 1 Corinthians 15).
Jesus was killed for being a revolutionary. Death on a cross was the way the Romans killed revolutionaries. But the irony is that it was through the cross that this revolutionary achieved his victory over his enemies (Pharisees, Saducees, and Rome).
A big megachurch just outside of Ann Arbor sent me a mass mailing inviting us to visit on Easter. On the back it said, “We are as harmless as…an easter bunny.” I think if a church is going to claim to follow Jesus, it should say something more like, “Come to our church and beware …..we are revolutionaries.”