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Freedom from Racism and Tribalism (9th of 11)

March 31, 2018

What just happened? A common reflection on the past week’s events would be that the Jews rejected Jesus as a fake messiah because was merely a spiritual messiah instead of the political messiah they wanted. In contrast, his followers accept him as the true Messiah because he won spiritual freedom for us through his sacrificial death.


This “spiritual messiah” idea is a dangerous half-truth. We will never understand the freedom of Jesus if we spiritualize it. Nothing has changed the politics of humanity more than the crucifixion of the King.


We miss that because we have spiritualized Passover, as if the blood on the doorposts were atoning blood that paid the price for Israel’s sins. That idea is nowhere in Exodus. The Passover blood was actually an ethnic identity symbol, marking the Jewish houses so the death angel would “pass over” them with no harm. The angel would strike down the firstborn only in the homes of the Egyptians and other ethnic groups, which did not have the identifying mark.


Jesus, our “Passover” sacrifice (1 Cor. 5.7), poured out his blood so members of any clan or race could “drink it,” marking themselves as members of God’s new “Jesus tribe”. In other words, Jesus’ blood protects people who identify themselves with it, and it unites them as God’s people, one new “super-tribe” or “pan-tribe,” one family, one body. (Eph. 2.14)


At this point Jesus and political correctness are aiming at the same goal—the human race living in inter-ethnic respect and harmony. But contrast their strategies. Political correctness can only say, “Ethnic hatred is unacceptable. Get over it.” That naïve and condescending approach, even when woven into as great a movie as Black Panther, gets nowhere with Israelis and Palestinians, or among the Arab clans of the Middle East, or between the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda, or between Chinese and Tibetans, etc. 


Jesus has leverage against racism that political correctness can only dream of. He says to every human being, “If you ever say anything or participate in anything that reinforces ethnic or clan divisions and hatreds, you are perpetuating what I gave my life to abolish. If you embrace racism or clan rivalries, you repudiate me as your Passover.” This is political revolution without political violence. This is the Prince of Peace setting the world free from ancient shackles.


Marvel at what Jesus the Liberator is doing: permanently crippling the forces of sin at all levels! Yesterday we watched our Passover Lamb remove the justification for many personal sinful reactions by freeing us from the victim mentality. Today we realize he was doing the same thing at the level of clan, race, and nation by creating a new “tribe,” the people of his blood. All hail, King Jesus!


Affirmation: I mark my life with the blood of Jesus, the Passover lamb who died to unite people of all ethnicities into one new humanity. 


Prayer: Lord Jesus, seal me into your people by your Passover blood, and let me live free as part of the new humanity.

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