Every Palm Sunday at my church, we read the story of the passion in preparation for Holy Week, with the different parts assigned to different members of our congregation. The pastor narrates, one guy gets Jesus, another guy gets Pilate, and some poor chap gets stuck with Judas. One year I got to be Pilate’s wife. The entire congregation speaks for the crowd.
It’s always a slightly chilling experience when the fellow reading Pilate asks what the crowd wants him to do with Jesus, and all of us reply loudly, “Let him be crucified!” “His blood be on us, and on our children!”
We are putting ourselves in the place of the Jews for the play, but are we really role-playing? Today, we sang a hymn called “Ah! Holy Jesus” that was uncannily fitting for this very question. Look at this verse:
Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.
Was it only the Jews who crucified Jesus? Or was it me—and you?