It happened as it happened, and asking ‘what if?’ is speculation…and yet…

… what if Simon Peter had not denied Jesus three times? What if he had decided to stand up and be counted when asked if he knew Jesus? What if Pontius Pilate had not dissociated himself from any responsibility for the decision to crucify Jesus, by symbolically washing his hands? What if Jesus had felt so daunted at the prospect of an agonizing death on the cross that he’d decided to withhold the truth, and said that that he wasn’t really the Son of God, after all?
I can never know the answers to these questions, but, in asking myself these questions, I become more aware of the part played by different people in the crucifixion of Christ – it wasn’t just about Judas and the Jewish authorities, or the chanting crowd that preferred Barabbas…
Several years ago, a Christian friend of mine told me about a conversation she’d had with a young woman who was feeling sad and guilty about her decision to abort her unborn child. My friend told me that she said to this young woman: ‘But your baby is not the only one you killed – you killed Jesus, too.’ I was shocked when I heard these words and I wondered how that young woman felt when she heard them…
… and yet, could it be true that we ‘re-crucify’ Christ when we pretend we don’t know him, as Simon Peter did?
Could it be true that we ‘re-crucify’ Christ when we dissociate ourselves from the decisions of others to reject him, as Pilate did? Maybe…
But this is speculation…
The most important thing is this:
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again
And we so long for his coming, especially as we celebrate Advent.

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