At times when things go wrong it can become all too easy to blame someone else for the reasons why. Holy Week is a prime example of the blame game being directed towards one individual, Jesus.
In Matthew’s Gospel, the conspiring from the Sadducee’s, Pharisee’s and Scribes begins from the moment of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. From there his teachings and authority are questioned, he is plotted against, betrayed, arrested, denied by his best friend, sentenced to death through an unjust trial, beaten and whipped and then forced to carry the cross to his own crucifixion.
So why do people project their anger and mistrust towards someone else so they will take the fall? Do they perceive them as a threat to their relationships, position amongst their peers or their views are contrary to their own?
Or do they just not want to take responsibility for their own words and actions in the unrest that arises?
When I think about situations that lead to disagreements in my own life I reflect on how easily they can be avoided. All it would have taken was a word or an action and the frustration and anger that occurred may not have happened. If only I had the benefit of hindsight.
I believe all three considerations brought about Jesus’ death sentence and also define what leads us into conflict with others. Ironically when Jesus was condemned he did not lash out or point the finger of accusation at others but forgave them for their hatred towards him.
I believe by doing that Jesus took the blame for all of our conflicts and demonstrated that the ultimate conclusion is through the seeking forgiveness.