I feel that this poem might need a word of explanation, because I am very wary of it being misunderstood.
In the flow of the story, as we move from Pilate to the surprising response of the crowd to Pilate’s request to free Jesus, there is a need to hazard an explanation: why did the crowd call so vehemently for Jesus to be killed? It was certainly not a universal response among the Jewish people, many of whom either followed Jesus or were unaware of the debate that raged at that moment. But some did call for his death, and they were motivated at least in part by expediency: what Jesus represented seemed to threaten the already uneasy peace with Rome.
And so, at this point, we have two competing but intertwining interests: Pilate wanting to be seen by Rome as a good governor while also keeping the people happy; the people (some of them) wanting to avoid conflict with Rome but also wanting to protect their interests. Meanwhile, none seemed to understand the actual role that Jesus played: as the one perfect sacrifice for all involved – the perfect Passover Lamb.Paschal Lamb It is better, the priest said, That one man die Than all the nation Be destroyed. The words he spoke, we knew, Were true. We’d seen before The pagan hordes Charge in with force, Repel with scorn Our frail attempts to Stand up tall. All the nation be destroyed: Yes, we’d all Seen that before: In our minds, the Shattered wall, the temple Crushed to debris, and The glory of the presence Gone. Better by far That one man die. He spoke a truth We did not know, But in the moment All was clear: Better for us That one man die; We raised assenting Voices high. Echoes off the palace walls Shouted with us: Crucify.