Thursday, April 25, 2024

Lesson of rule to learn


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This weekend is one of the most critical in the Christian calendar.
It is an important moment in our secular life as well, if we regard The Bible as more than a holy Christian text, important though that is.
The remembrance of the Crucifixion and the celebration of the Resurrection are matters of such seminal importance to the vast body of Christians the world over, yet the truths embedded therein, and the deeper meaning they hold for us are set aside as our secular affairs are pursued.
The preordained trial, condemnation and Resurrection of Jesus are an important lesson for those of us who are prepared to think on these things. The trial and acquittal of Jesus are an event that does not end in His freedom. Rather, they result in the unjust clamour by baying masses for the condemnation of the man in whom Pilate had earlier found no fault and had so declared.
The decision then to hand Jesus over to the verdict of the people is a triumph for expediency and emotion, and a defeat for reason and principle. It is also a lesson in choices. Emotion fuelled the choice of the people and led to the chorus of “Give us Barabas”, even though that meant freeing a notorious villain at whose hands many in the crowd had undoubtedly suffered in times past.
As Christians we understand the power and symbolism of these events, and the gift of life and redemption, and resurrection through death. Yet we may also wish to draw on the lesson that reminds us all of the danger of mob rule, and how the right choice can often be undermined by reckless disregard for reason.
At this Easter Barbados is faced with a slew of challenges. We have to deal with clico, redjet, the Almond Beach fallout and the continuing drag of the tail of the international recession; and more! Each of these difficult issues requires the right decision if we are to avoid the debilitating impact of “getting it wrong”.
We are not in any doubt that reasoned discussion by those in authority, while taking into account the views of the people, will enable decisions that enure to public good.
Decisions based on emotional response may please some in the short run. But reasoned decisions, which take into account the short-term as well as long-term implications for our country, will serve us better in the end.
Crowd response from the masses overrode the reasoned approach of Pilate who found himself forced to hand over the innocent Son of Man to a crowd bent on His crucifixion, even though a week earlier they had welcomed Him in triumph.
But that is the way of the emotional mob. They are fickle.
Those entrusted with power over national matters, anywhere, must be men and women of reason and given to careful, dispassionate thought as they discharge the heavy burden of managing the affairs of state.
Like Pontius Pilate they must strive to reach the right decisions, and they must declare those decisions to the people. Unlike Pilate, however, they must stick to their decisions once they believe them to be right and to be protective of the public interest.
Easter is a time of reflection and ultimately celebration for millions of Christians. We respect those observances, ever mindful that the season presents many lessons for those who govern us, as they, like Pontius Pilate, confront the weighty decisions which all heads face as part of their sacred trust as our leaders.
Happy Easter, everyone!

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