Let’s look at one of the more difficult moments of Holy Week – the scourging of the Temple. What does it mean for us to look at a man who drives traders from the Temple with whips because they have exploited God’s people and so defiled and dirtied his holy place, but then refuses to argue with Pilate in any way that will stop him from being killed? Was Jesus a pacifist or not? Did he believe in peace or not?
I think that it boils down to justice and truth – the anger that drives Jesus to drive the traders from the Temple is about a desire for a just treatment of God’s people and a truthful way of living,( and I think it’s important to note that he is not described as physically whipping the traders, but instead overturning their tables and driving them out). The apparent passivity that he displays in relation to his own life is also about being truthful, if he pursues justice and truth to the end he knows full well that he is on a collision course with the ‘powers that be’ and one that will very likely lead to his death.
Truth isn’t a very popular word any more – who really believes in objective truth? Christians do believe in objective truth and we have to keep seeking it and not be surprised if it puts us on a collision course, we might fail through fear, but we have to try to follow through, because Christ has ‘no hands on earth but ours’
Can there really be any peace without real justice?