It’s Narcissist Friday!
“Too much has been invested. There’s too much to lose. He brought it on himself. What did he think was going to happen? He put us in a terrible position. There’s only one thing we can do. We have our reputation to think about. We have the people to think about. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”
“We will make sure it’s a fair trial. We have enough against him to make the charges stick. We don’t need much. He may be a good man, but he said some foolish things. He’ll be found guilty, and then we will turn him over to the Romans.”
“For centuries we have been more spiritual than the others. They hate him just as much as we do, but they don’t have the courage to do anything about it. We have to continue being teachers and prophets. The people need us. One man should not be allowed to bring us down.”
“His followers will scatter. His family will grieve. And his words will be forgotten. The things he said about us will fall away when we charge him with blasphemy, and the Romans charge him with sedition. No, he didn’t do anything wrong, but he said things—things that hurt us and might risk our position with the people and the Romans.”
“Even if he is a good man, he’s expendable.”
The narcissistic organization gathered its leaders to defend its name and power. Jesus shouldn’t have challenged them. They didn’t care that he had followers. They didn’t care what he taught. But over and over he accused them. He used their own words against them. Enough was enough. He would have to be an example for others. There are limits.
So, the narcissistic leaders took him to trial. They heard testimony against him from those who hated him. Then they pronounced judgment. Yes, he was guilty. Guilty of not bowing to them. Guilty of not serving their image. Guilty of exposing the truth about them to the people. Oh, how they hated him. And feared him.
But the narcissistic organization must look good even in judgment. Yes, he was guilty and must be punished, but someone else could do that. Hand him over to the Romans, they said. Let them beat him and abuse him further. Take him to Pilate. Pilate would send him to Herod. And, maybe, if they played things right, they could get the people to turn against him at the end. His blood would be on their hands.
And the narcissistic organization would be there to provide counsel and absolution. When the people cried out to God, the narcissistic leadership would be there for them. When the people asked forgiveness, the leaders would remind them that they had no choice. Besides, for the good of the many, he was expendable.
They watched from a distance as he was nailed to the cross. It was done. Uneasy in their hearts, some of them watched throughout the day. He couldn’t be there on the Sabbath. That wouldn’t look good. At the end, the Romans didn’t have to abuse him further. He died on his own. A man of sorrows, they said. But it had to be done.
She was expendable.
He was expendable.
They were expendable.
The good of the many.
But they weren’t watching later, when everything changed, and the world came crashing down around them.
On that cross, Jesus took our grief and pain. He carried our sins and our condemnation. He bore our rejection and humiliation. Our guilt and shame. On that cross, Jesus became our sorrow.
But the day was coming when all those things dropped from Him and from us, when new life poured into our world in a new way. A day of rejoicing and freedom and peace and joy.
Good Friday, the day when Love said:
“NO! THESE ARE NOT EXPENDABLE! ”
“THEY ARE MINE!”