“If the meaning of life is just a string of theological words, then who cares about it one way or another and what difference does it make and why bother to say the words at all, even if in some sense they are true?  But if it is a reality, then words cannot contain it, you can know it only when you experience it, and if life in general has meaning, then every part of life also has meaning …” (The Hungering Dark“The Monkey God”, Frederick Buechner)

I am thankful for the multitude who cried out to Pilate saying, “crucify him!”

That poor, deceived, oppressed, greedy, malicious, zealous, angry mob.  Today, and every day, I’m thankful for them.

They were wrong about him – Oh! so wrong.  But I need them.  I need them to be there, yelling, shouting, manipulating, loathing, cursing.  I need them to win.  I need him to be crucified.  I wish I didn’t, but I do.

I’m thankful for their greed and their zealous hearts, for their cowardice and their shame.  I’m thankful they were hungry and desperate enough to sell their souls to the religious hierarchy of the day in order to line their pockets and fill their bellies and climb the ladder.

I’m thankful for Jesus who forgave them, and me, in the midst of enduring our selfishly-imposed, unjust sentence.

But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and to put Jesus to death. – Matthew 27:20

Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let Him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” – Matthew 27:22-23

But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified.  And their voices began to prevail. – Luke 23:23

And wishing to satisfy the multitude, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. – Mark 15:15

I’m thankful today, that because of that multitude – and that governor, and those soldiers, and those priests and elders, and the weakness of our humanity – that words cannot contain the meaning of life.

Because of them, life has meaning, known and unknown, and not just in general, but every part:  the things that I consider good have meaning and those I disdain for their depravity, the major events and the tiniest gestures, the heights of ecstasy and the depths of despair, the sweet and the bitter, the great and small, the powerful and the weak, the brilliance and the breathing.

I’m thankful for redemption.  And for you.

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