Sundays with CWM (9 Apr): Mob Violence and the Role of the Church as the Cross Bearer

by CWM Communications Team

30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.

31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. (Mathew 27:30-32)

 The text above is one of the commonly used readings among Christian communities during Easter session. Although the story provides us with the narrative of the road to Golgotha (the place of the skull) and the suffering of Jesus leading to his death, there are aspects of this story that are similar to our contemporary society that needs to be highlighted. First is the issue of mob psychology violence which is very common in most of our communities. Looking closely at the text we see a situation where Jesus was surrounded by a mob that was psychologically motivated into something they may not even have been conversant with. One would assume that not everyone who was shouting “crucify him! crucify him!” had a clear picture of the events around Jesus’ arrest and yet the Bible tells us that the mob and of course with ring leaders who were the insinuators of violence led Jesus to the cross to die.

At the time of writing this devotion, our part of the world is observing 16 days of activism, an activity that focuses on addressing, gender-based violence. As we may all be aware, there are many forms of violence such as mob violence which may be in form of gang rape or xenophobic attacks of people of other foreign nationals. Just like the mob that attacked Jesus, mob violence is one of the most dangerous form of violence that has led to the death of many innocent people. For example, migrants, most of whom run away from the war and workers are attacked daily by different mobs including the social-political mob of the host country, which has left poor and innocent people homeless and vulnerable and many of them dead. The second point that I wish to highlight is the call for the church to arise and carry the crosses of these suffering souls who are innocent and yet die at the hands of the wicked mobs. Just like Simon became the salvation to the pain that Jesus encountered we need a church that is going to bring salvation to these souls.

Lilian Siwila, University of KwaZulu Natal

Dear Lord we want to thank you for your death and resurrection that bring us unto to salvation. Just like in the of Jesus, we live in an era where injustice towards humanity and nature is in people’s minds. Help your church to be the barrier of the crosses that many innocent yet condemned people carry. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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