From Rachel-Anne Minor
In some traditional readings of the Passion narrative read throughout Holy Week, the congregation reads the part of the crowd. First as a child and now as an adult, I am always struck by those moments when it is my job, along with my church family, to say “Crucify him! Crucify him!”. Often in musical settings of the Passion, whether it be chant or the masterpieces by J.S. Bach, the chorus fulfills the role of the crowd or one person is appointed to sing these damning words. Every year, whether I am speaking or singing them, it hurts to say. It hurts to take the place of the crowd, call for Barabbas and for the painful death of Jesus, my Savior. At the same time I know I need to say these words because it is my sin that put him there (as the old hymn says), and by saying these words I enter into the Passion narrative at its lowest point in order to be brought to its most glorious conclusion on Sunday.
Today I noticed something I hadn’t before in these crowd interjections. After Pilate washes his hands of the whole situation, the people respond, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27: 25). What an amazing hint at the redemption that is to come after the sacrifice of the Lamb, for Christ’s blood shed through his saving death is on us, and washes us white as snow (as another old hymn says). I pray that as we continue this walk through Holy Week, we find our place in the narrative and recognize Jesus’ incomprehensible love for us, that though our sin put him on the cross, his blood outpoured would cleanse us from our sin and bring us to him for eternity.
Originally from Boston, I am currently pursuing a Masters in Choral Conducting at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT (but I can’t stay away from Boston!).