I don’t usually do this and I don’t want to make a habit of it, but I want to make a disclaimer before I get into the heart of this post. I write what I feel like God has placed on my heart– what He’s speaking to me about. It’s not always comfortable stuff and it may be uncomfortable to hear, but I refuse to filter my words in fear of offending someone. Believe me, this stuff is just as much for me as it is for other people.
God asks me to write. I didn’t choose this life or calling, but I have determined in my heart to be as faithful and obedient as possible. I won’t always get it right, but there is nothing that I share that I haven’t carefully considered.
I’ve seen religion kill a lot of things. Creativity. Relationships. Purpose. Heart/Passion. I’ve seen it bind people with made up rules and expectations for the sake of appearances. Religion has locked people in boxes of tradition and thrown away the keys. Religion can go to hell.
Religiosity is what sent Jesus to the cross. Rather the fact that Jesus refused to obey the religious expectations (legalism) put in place by tradition. He did things like:
Heal on the Sabbath (HOW DARE HE?! Doesn’t He know there’s 6 other days in the week for that. Our Sabbath rules are much more important than hurting PEOPLE.)
Hang out with drunkards and outcasts of society (Come on, Jesus. You know better to hang out with people like that. They’ll get their sinner cooties on you.)
He gained a following (The religious did not like this because they were jealous. Jesus was becoming more popular than them.)
The final nail in the coffin (or cross as the case may be) for Jesus was the fact that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. Jesus simple admission of identity secured His death sentence. What’s interesting to me about this point is that these religious leaders knew the prophesies and Word of God (they only had Old Testament at this time) more than anyone else. Like, that’s what got them to the positions they were in– even having huge portions of it memorized. Yet, they missed it. They knew the Word and yet missed the Word when it was standing right in front of them.
That’s was religion does though…it can blind you.
Good Friday shows this so eloquently in Scripture. I will be referencing verses from Mark 26:47-Mark 47:44 (TPT) and reiterating a few points I stated earlier.
- Mark 26:47 It was the ruling priests and Jewish leaders who ordered Jesus arrested.
- Mark 26:57 It was the chief priest, religious scholars and Jewish council who held the meeting to interrogate Jesus.
- Mark 26:59 These same religious leaders “were doing their best to find false charges that they could bring against Jesus because they were looking for a reason to put him to death.”
- Mark 27:1 The religious leaders resolved to take action against Jesus.
- Mark 27:12 The religious leaders slandered and accused Jesus.
- Mark 27:18 Pilate recognized the Jewish leaders were handing Jesus over because of jealousy. (As the Passion Translation puts it their bitter jealousy)
- Mark 27:20 The religious people were inciting the crowd– literally getting them riled up and on their side.
So, what’s the answer? What am I getting at?
If I were to sum it up, it would be this: Jesus showed us that we were not meant to be led by religion but by the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit). Jesus did what His Father told Him to do. If it was healing someone on the Sabbath, He did it. If it was hanging out with people that didn’t fit the status quo, He did it. If was saying something that made people uncomfortable (like eat my flesh and drink my blood kinda stuff), He did it.
What I love so much about Jesus and find so absolutely freeing is that He didn’t allow people (or fear of people) to dictate His actions. He simply wanted to bring His Heavenly Father pleasure.
Even if that meant going to the cross. And He did so willingly and loving for the wildly religious and the blatant sinner both categories of which I have found myself.