Jesus Versus the Jews Vol.4, No.16

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At the end of last edition, we reflectively observed that the originality of Jesus was found not so much in the novelty of his ideas (for most of them were already present in Jewish traditions), but in the way he brought them together, developed and harmonized them, and above all, made them real in his own life with such unparalleled intensity.
It was this mild notion of originality that was not in any way contradicting the traditions of his people, that became an issue for Jewish elders. They first of all, began by questioning his authority. This was predicated on the fact that Jesus’s own authority instead of appealing to traditional forms of authority, involved his own religious experience and urged his hearers to the same. In the name of primacy of Love over Law, he even attacked sacred Jewish tradition like the rigorous Sabbath observance and spoke slightingly of the Temple. His whole performance, in fact, constituted a tremendous challenge to the authenticity of Jewish traditions and observances.
Conscious of his imminent end, Jesus gathered his followers for one last meal together probably the night before the Jewish Passover and offered them bread and wine, his body and blood, which would be sacrificed to establish the new covenant between God and humanity, and commanded them to be repeating this sacrifice as a memorial of his passion, and a pledge of his continuing presence with them and of his coming again.
Tradition has it that Jesus was arrested that same night at the instigation of both Roman and Jewish officials, brought before a Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin, for a kind of Grand-Jury proceeding, and found guilty. Meanwhile, the four fine journalists (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) report that both political and religious motives contributed to his prosecution.
From the point of view of the Jewish authorities, he appeared to be a messianic pretender who, like others would be messiahs at the time, thought of the coming of God’s kingdom as necessitating a political revolution. Their fear therefore was that he might provoke a brutal repression by the Romans to the destruction of the whole of Jewish nation. For the Sanhedrin, his claim to unique authority was blasphemous and his criticism of the Temple and the Jewish Law, was sacrilegious.
In spite of these allegations, Pilate could not find any reason to prosecute him. And perhaps, being impressed by the unwillingness of Jesus’s followers to use force to defend him at the time of his capture, resolved to release him after the interrogations. His position however, was very far from that of the Jewish leaders, and by threatening to report Pilate to Caesar, they forced him to have Jesus executed.
In any case, Jesus’ mission should have ended on Calvary. But something strange occurred, an experience that convinced Jesus’s followers that he was still alive and that single experience (i.e. his appearance to his followers) enabled them to radically change their outlook and subsequently inaugurated the Christian Community. Well, the unbearable crucibles and gory details that were inevitable to the institute of this oldest religioun shall be our discussion henceforth. Do not go away, you shall enjoy the show and at the same time be more enlightened.

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