Why did the scribes, high priests and pharisees seek to kill and then actually crucified Christ? (Matt. 16, 20, 23, 26, 27; Mk 8, 14, 15; Lk 5, 11, 20, 22; Jn 7, 11, 19). After all, the scribes were the literate and educated elite, the high priests were the leaders of the Jewish religion and the pharisees are defined as ‘members of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity’. And yet the same word has come to mean ‘a self-righteous or hypocritical person’. Indeed Christ Himself called them ‘hypocrites’ (Matt. 6, 7, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24; Mk 7; Lk 13).
The scribes, high priests and pharisees sought to murder and then actually murdered Christ because he disturbed their self-satisfied and narcissistic bubble, their comfortable little world, their comfort zone, from which they were able to condemn all others who did not belong to their club. He forced them to face reality. He cast the moneychangers out of their Temple. In their eyes, the punishment for that is death.
Sadly, there are many who prefer to live in illusions, rather than in the real world. They cut themselves off in their imaginary ghetto world, as reality is too frightening. It takes guts to face reality. It is much better to live in pastel colours and a sepia vision than in the real world. Thus, many create a bubble life, with their own self-imposed rules, perhaps with more than a tinge of protective racism, rejecting all others outside the ‘clan’ as ‘unclean’. ‘All the others are wrong; only I am right’. This bubble life allows them to condemn others. And that is what the scribes, high priests and high priests did. And that is what they still do today. Let us beware they we too do not fall into such a trap of pride and self-love, treating others as lepers.