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Some evangelical churches used to practice “shunning”. (I don’t think it’s as common as it used to be.) If a member was judged to have violated the moral standards of the community, that member was shunned. Shut out, essentially. Cut off from contact with other members of the community, sometimes even from members of their own family.
The purpose of shunning was not to make the person feel guilty. Rightly or wrongly, that had already been determined. The purpose was to make victims feel ashamed.
Shaming was also, I submit, the purpose of crucifixion. Crucifixion was more than a means of executing someone. A spear in the gut, a club on the head, a knife to the neck, killed much more quickly, more efficiently.
Crucifixion was designed to cause shame.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: crucifixion, Shame, guilt, mission
As Easter nears, I think about two men – one who died, and one who didn’t. Jesus died; Barabbas didn’t. Or maybe it’s the other way around, in the long term.
By a cruel irony, when governor Pontius Pilate offers to free Jesus as a goodwill gesture for the Jewish Passover, an angry crowd demands that he release, instead, a thief and murderer named “Barabbas.” Barabbas -- “the son of the father”.
And so the man who said “The Father and I are one” was executed on a trumped-up charge of claiming to be King of the Jews, while the man named “Son of the Father” was set free.
The coincidence is so keen, it almost demands further exploration.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: resurrection, Jesus, Barabbas, Pilate, crucifixion