By: Kirby Franklin
The similarities are striking. Many, if not all, Christians know of Barabbas as the murderer released on the Passover, (as per tradition), in replace of the Governor Pontius Pilate's first choice, Jesus. However, what many do not as readily know, is the strange, almost intentional, similarities between Jesus and Barabbas.
Not much is known of Barabbas, however, in Mark 15:7 it tells us exactly who he was; [he] was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. Barabbas was not just a common criminal, or violent murderer as we are often told, and as so many people have been led to accept. Barabbas was actually a revolutionary. A zealot, who stood up for his people against an oppressive government of racially biased, and wealth consumed, God-haters. One of Jesus' own disciples, Simon, was a zealot before he became a follower of the Christ, and it's quite possible he knew Barabbas. Even more possible, Barabbas may have known of Jesus, due to his reputation. But what we do know, is that Barabbas was a political prisoner of the Empire, caught during a riot, or an uprising, and sentenced to death for his "crimes."
The similarities, to me, are far more than coincidence. Especially when you learn that many early manuscripts of Matthew, called Barabbas, Jesus bar Abbas. Quite literally "Jesus, son of the Father." No, I think there is a lot to be grasped here.
By: Amaryah Armstrong
Note: post originally appeared on the Women In Theology blog.
I’m tired of people sharing pictures of folks in Ferguson who are stopping looting.
While I understand the impulse, attempting to show that there are a multiplicity of responses to the verdict and that not everyone feels the same about property destruction, it also seems to repeat the criminalizing of folks who do loot and suggest a certain respectable propriety as what the “good” protestors are doing.
This continues a similar delegitimizing of property destruction and looting that the mainstream media panders in. But property destruction and looting are not senseless. They’re not dumb. They’re a response. An uncomfortable response for a society who thinks private property is an extension of our bodies.
But given that those who are descendents of people who were property, those dispossessed who through policing are made out to be property for the state, it would seem in the looting and property destruction is a critique of private property as the invention that produces public property, which is black flesh. And this production of public property as blackness is the production of its profitability as its expendability. Darren Wilson received 500k in support of his defense of this division of property, paid leave, a marriage celebration, and a public interview to top it off.
By: Drew G.I. Hart
Note: Originally posted on Drew's blog Taking Jesus Seriously, hosted by the Christian Century.
For nothing will be impossible with God. (Luke 1:37, NET)
‘All things become NEW!’ That is what scripture says, right? And yet, in the midst of our current society, nothing could seem further from ever being actualized for those living in the cracks and margins of this world. In our country, the lives of Black and Native American people continue to carry no value. Women are routinely subjected to an inferior status to men. The poor are exploited and trampled upon by the rich. The majority of American societal structures are unashamedly bent towards injustice and violence. Most organizations and corporations veil the degree to which they are turned inward, seeking self-preservation, and self-promotion. Wealthy American citizens are often discontent with their current lifestyles, normed by the media induced desires for an American Dream. Broadly speaking, the American culture is ideologically socialized into idolatrous patriotism, dehumanizing white supremacy, and blasphemous materialism. Partisan politics reveal, to those that are not sleep walking, that both sides of the aisle are just as implicated in conserving, or optimistically only tweaking, a broken system. This Old Order seems to have staying power. It is hooked up with dark and evil forces of this world, a much more tragic reality than any mere human conflict. Forget “New”, it seems at times like the Old Order is here to stay.
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