“And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One” (Luke 23:35NAS).
During the crucifixion of Jesus, many people were excited about the murder of Jesus. The religious folks were moved with enthusiasm because they believed they captured Jesus, and felt like they had their day at last. They were energized because they thought they finally got rid of him…”and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God–ha! The Chosen–ha!” (Luke 23:35 MSG). They were brazen with their actions and attitudes; however, there were others there at the crucifixion who said nothing about the torture and humiliation of Jesus. They witnessed the crucifixion, but they did not speak out or against it. Instead…”the people stood there staring at Jesus…”(Luke 23:35 MSG).
It is indeed sad when good people say nothing when they see evil and wrong being done. It does something to the spirit to witness tragedy, trauma and transition against others, especially the undeserving and never speak up. When good people don’t speak up or against injustice, or get involve then they themselves are allowing evil to occur. There were those at the crucifixion who were probably on the side of Jesus, shouting and cheering for Him at the beginning of the week (Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem; see Matthew 21); yet they remained silent at Jesus’s crucifixion at the end of the week. Silence is an indicator that unrighteousness wins. Ellie Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, said…”I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation….Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
We can’t afford to be silent! We must fight and stand against injustice! We must be vocal and get involve when we see people being mistreated or harmed! “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr. God loves our praise and worship in the church, but God equally love when we challenge corrupt systems. “Because the LORD has a case against His people;…Would GOD be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil?…No…But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what GOD is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously– take God seriously” (see Micah 6:1-8). So Stand for Justice and Speak Up!
Lord, forgive me for not speaking up and against the trauma and tragedies of your people. You’ve called me to enter the world of suffering and struggle and to be your witness and ambassador. You’ve called me to stand in the gap and to speak up for the lost, the least and the last. So today I accept the call. I will think about the hurt and harm of others and offer myself as the sacrifice of relief, and support. I will choose to stand in the gap in prayer, and to actively participate in others spiritual, mental, emotional and even physical release. I will no longer sit idly by and witness wrongs. I will instead stand for justice and speak up. Amen.
God’s Peace and Good Journey!
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Bronner, a native Philadelphian, is a trailblazing visionary. He is the Senior Pastor of Elim Christian Fellowship of both Buffalo, and Rochester, New York. Bronner founded the churches on November 7, 1999 and November 17, 2002, respectively. Prior to that, he was the pastor of the prestigious Calvary Baptist Church also of Buffalo, New York.