In the Lectionary

April 5, Passion Sunday A (Matthew 26:14–27:66)

The story of Jesus’ unjust trial and wrongful conviction must not be romanticized.

Read the author's column on the Palm Sunday readings.

Trials make compelling entertainment. We revere To Kill a Mockingbird and 12 Angry Men. John Grisham’s and James Patterson’s names appear larger than their book titles. Law and Order ran 20 seasons and produced at least five spin-offs. There is something exhilarating about the control of violence, and something satisfying about its resolution. Nine times out of ten the bad guy gets his due and justice is served. Most well-heeled, white church members seem confident in our legal system, convinced that good generally overcomes evil.

The trial of Jesus might come as something of a shock.