Political authorities are anxious. There’s a movement afoot. Hierarchical norms are being threatened. And by whom? A young upstart, a radical who refuses to follow their long-held rules, who speaks of a new way, a better way that bypasses familiar authoritarian structures firmly in place. A young man no one had even heard of a few short years ago.
Now thousands of people gather around him, listen in awe to him, as he speaks words of wisdom well beyond his years. Words that make sense. Words saying that clearly something is wrong, very wrong. Something has to change. The old ways are the way of death and destruction.
He and his friends speak of the marginalized, those who are left out, pushed aside by a society that focuses on the educated, the wealthy, those from the right families. So they include them, make them part of their message in a profound way, and people listen. Intently.
Yes, he knows that money often changes hands in the power structures that be. Money he wants no part of. Even those who clamor after him and hang onto his every word do not fully comprehend. He wants no part of earthly power as it presently exists – corrupt, compassionless, evil.
To proclaim loudly and boldly for all to see that he is a different kind of leader, he rides into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. No kingly procession for him. Just a humble one, befitting the humble servant of all humankind that he is. A humble servant who has come to spread a message of love, life, and liberation.
They treat him with disdain, dishonor. He is spat upon, mocked, whipped, and killed. Killed by Roman authorities in the most painful, excruciating way – by crucifixion. The authorities think they have won, but how wrong they are. How very, very wrong.
Because you cannot kill a movement, no matter how hard you may try. With opposition, movements grow, leaders are born, people find their voice. Momentum propels it forward as more join the movement because it is right. Because they too, are weary of the way things are. Because they too, know that new life lies ahead. Because they, too, have had enough.
His name is Jesus. The year is 33 AD. Or is it?
This Holy Week, as Christians remember Jesus whose death and resurrection started the Jesus Movement that is still going strong over 2,000 years later, may we all, regardless of our faith tradition, be emboldened to join new movements of justice in our own time.
Our voices are needed. Our commitment is needed. Our unfailing hope in a new tomorrow is needed. Desperately.
Because now, as then, enough is enough.