First the charge against Jesus - blasphemy. According to the Sanhedrin Jesus is only a human yet he makes himself out to be God. In The Case for Jesus Dr. Brant Pitre analyzes the significance of this charge and he asks a question we all have to face: Were the authorities correct? Is Jesus a blasphemer or is he truly God?
Second, Jesus' cry from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Dr. Pitre considers this perplexing Bible verse and shows how we need to understand it in its original Jewish context. If you have puzzled about Jesus' apparent cry of despair, I encourage you to read The Case for Jesus.
Third, judgement. Throughout the Passion narrative people are judging each other. Some judge the woman who poured precious oil over Jesus. It could have been sold to help the poor and they were infuriated with her. The crowds judge by preferring Barabbas to Jesus. "Crucify him," they shout. The chief priests for their part judge Jesus by mocking him.
Judgment is often misguided and cruel but that does not mean we should be like Pilate. He avoided responsibility by cynically asking, "What is truth?"
For that question I offer you a CD titled, "Who Am I to Judge?" It's a huge question with enormous consequences. For that reason I want to give each adult and young person a recording of Dr. Edward Sri's talk. Listen to it in your car, in your room or with your family. This one hour talk will change your life - and will enable you to help someone who has fallen into relativism: the belief that there is no right or wrong, no true or false.
So today take home the CD "Who Am I to Judge?" and if you don't already have it, The Case for Jesus. Read chapter 11 on crucifixion. They will help you have the best Holy Week ever. Amen.