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Good Friday

“Now the kind of acceptance that Jesus offered created around him a commune of people who were liberated, able to love one another, able to accept one another. There are many things to be said about this little group, but one of the most obvious things is that it posed a threat to the established society — whether the Roman colonial set-up or the established religion. It was bound to pose a threat to any society based on less than love. This is why Jesus had to be destroyed. He was not killed by accident, nor was he murdered by a chance meeting with individually wicked men. The people who killed him, both the chief priests and the Roman colonial authorities, in their different ways had a point. He was subversive, not so much because of a theory he preached (though his preaching was deeply disrespectful especially of the priests), but because of what he had created simply by being around the place. Jesus posed a political threat not by being a politician but by making people secure, by creating a kind of relationship that couldn’t be accommodated within a society ultimately based on domination and fear….

“Be that as it may, however, the need to kill Jesus showed the Palestinian society for what it was. But more than that, it showed up the human race for what it was. For what was being offered in Jesus was not just a kind of friendship, not just a limited sort of love, but the love which is the meaning of all human existence. To believe that Jesus is of God is to believe that, in rejecting him, people are making the most ultimate kind of rejection, the final contradiction of themselves. The crucifixion is not just one more case of a particular society showing its inhumanity. It is the whole human race showing the rejection of itself. The resurrection is the Father’s refusal to accept this self-rejection of man.”

Herbert McCabe, OP, God Still Matters, p. 175-176.