The dreaded 'J' word ? (part 15)

But ...

Why such an early death? Why such a needless and grisly end?

There is more than one answer, on more than one different level - political, spiritual, religious, prophetic etc etc.

Let's look at the religious establishment and ask why they didn't welcome Jesus with outstretched arms, bearing in mind his peaceful message and many good works. We'll look at perhaps the main reason. It has already been covered - it centred on the 'blasphemous' claims that he and his followers made for him, particularly later in his ministry.

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, knowing full well what he meant and what the future held for him. His disciples, typically Simon Peter, also considered him to be the Messiah, but had an incomplete understanding of what it meant. The reason for this has also been covered earlier - the twin expectations of what the Messiah would be and what he would do.

Jesus clearly identified with thehumble, suffering Messiah. But the Jews of his day, suffering under Roman domination, were looking for and expecting the other one, the kingly Messiah, the one who would lead them in a godly uprising against the hated occupation force.

So, in the eyes of the vanquished Jewish population, it was all very well witnessing the healings and miracles - these were too quickly forgotten about. What they wanted, at the end of the day, was a warrior not a wimp.

They just had an incomplete understanding, just like the Israelites of old who, at the times of the Judges, demanded a king, just like all the other nations and ended up with Saul, a flawed individual who ended up consulting a witch for his foreign policy!