Palm Sunday/The Sunday of the Passion, April 10, 2022, Year C
Text: Luke 22:14-23:56
The Rev. Anne Meredith Kyle
At the conclusion of the dramatic reading of the Passion Gospel , the Centurion said
“Certainly, this man was innocent.”
The centurion had it right… this man, this Jesus, was innocent.
The centurion had it wrong… this man, this Jesus, was guilty!
What then, was the crime? What was the offence so dangerous and so low that it threatened the powerful systems in place at that time? What. Was. The. Crime?
The crime that Jesus committed, over and over again, was love.
There was a system, you see. Some were up and some were down. Some knew what was what, and some were ignorant. Some had what it took, and some had nothing, nothing but the sweat of their brow.
God, through the eyes of Jesus saw the little ones, those who were oppressed, and those who were left out.
God, on the feet of Jesus, went to unexpected places and there encountered the people most called “other”.
God, in the ears of Jesus, heard the cries of those long ignored.
And God, with the hands of Jesus, reached out to touch. God reached out to heal. God reached out to lift up those who were sick and suffering and hurt.
This man, this Jesus was innocent of all wrong.
AND! This man, this Jesus was guilty. He was guilty, alright. This man, this Jesus, crucified, dead, and buried, was guilty of love.
Jesus was guilty of a love so great that those who did not know their own worth, found great comfort and great love. Jesus was guilty of a love so great that truth of God was made open and available to all. Jesus was guilty of a love so great that those who were incapable of love convicted him, and nailed him to a cross.
The love Jesus was guilty of was so great that here we are, two millennium later, trying once again to understand this difficult story.
So. Go from this place today. Go from this place, you who love the Lord. Go and be as guilty as Jesus! Go from this place and be guilty of love. AMEN!