Holy Week is only a week away at this point. And as we get closer and closer, one thought goes through my mind as I have watched the news of late: why are bullies still a thing?
There are so many reasons why Christ died. Key among them was to show us how incredibly terrible we can be to one another. Including how we bully, shame, degrade, harass, torment, and coerce one another. Christ’s death occurred, at least for one reason, so we would stop. So we would start to be better. To do better.
Wow have we missed that mark.
Even worse, we supposed followers of the Crucified God have tried to use him as an excuse to keep being bullies of others. To tyrannize them. To subjugate them. To persecute them. Even on occasion to literally crucify them (look back at the Middle Ages).
Just this last week we have witnessed abominations of bullying. Worse – most of those perpetrating the harm do not even realize they are taking on the role of the scourge. Or if they do, they do not even care.
Make no mistake, our God is not on the side of bullies. Our God died at the hands of them. Let them take Jesus and beat, bloody, then break his body until he drew his last earthly breath. For crimes he did not commit.
Our God is not, and has never been, on the side of belittling. Persecuting. Oppressing. Forcing. Tyranny. Torment. Subjugating. Coercion. Harassment. Intimidating. Crushing. Repressing. Hegemony. Suppression. Feel free to keep going with any other synonyms you can think of.
Lord knows we’ve been really good at using our God as an excuse for all of these things over the years. However, the cross of Jesus Christ stands in stark contradiction to all of it. In judgment of all of it. Stating that this is not who our God is. Nor is it the way our God’s Kingdom will be run.
So, bearing that in mind, it is worth considering our actions, and the actions of those we hold accountable, very carefully. Do they match the self-giving love of the Crucified God? Or are they bearing witness to the ways of the fallen bully powers of this world?
Golgotha lays all our accounts bare and asks: will we let the cross condemn what needs condemned in our lives? Even the bullies within ourselves at times? Will we let them die as they should have all those years ago?
Only then can the new life God offers finally begin to take root…