This weekend millions are remembering Jesus Christ’s humiliating and cruel crucifixion death at 33; and most Christians believe, His resurrection just three days later.
In the previous three years he had taught and demonstrated a way of life based not on self-interest and retaliation for wrongs, but on love and respect for, and forgiveness of others, even our opponents.
It has been said, His philosophy as illustrated by His patient endurance of adversity in the face of death, has not been “tried and found wanting”, but “found difficult and not tried”.
Human nature is determinedly egocentric. We tend to be also driven by tribal instincts based on our race, class and religion rather than by our consciences. The slogan is an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Unfortunately, a chain of pay-backs may ensue, resulting in an avalanche of human suffering.
Our systems of law and order are ideally based on appropriate and proportional punishment for wrong-doing, but justice is only served when fault is impartially assessed, and fairly administered. Sadly this is not always the case. Verdicts may reflect the biased perceptions of ruling majorities, and their vested interests. Worse still is judgment by kangaroo court. or personal revenge summarily executed.
The global slaughter of the two 20th century wars has now given place in the unfolding 21st century by isolated acts of random terrorism. It is a war waged by those who are willing to sacrifice their own lives for revenge against those they think, or have been brain-washed to think, are their oppressors and untouchable by conventional means.
I would hope that the Easter message of love and mercy might be remembered by us all in these times of tension and hatred.