1. Jesus defeats Pluto
Judas betrayed Jesus to death for thirty pieces of silver. In doing so, Judas showed that Pluto reigned in his little heart of darkness.
But Jesus allowed himself to be sold. He voluntary submitted himself to the law of money, to the rule of Pluto, through Judas. Jesus did so because he identified himself with us so much that he took our place for our sake. Jesus thereby showed that he had no heart of darkness and was animated by a spirit quite different in nature.
In dying in our place and for our sake by voluntarily taking our place under Pluto’s rule, Jesus broke Pluto’s power over us. He redeemed our lives from Pluto by giving his instead. Abba himself witnessed to the victory of Jesus over Pluto by raising Jesus from the dead.
By substituting his death for ours, Jesus showed how precious the life of every human being is to him. He also showed us how seriously he rejects the reduction of any person to an object for money.
2. Jesus liberates us from Pluto
Having defeated Pluto, Jesus even now invites us to join with him in enjoying the fruits of that victory. That freedom from Pluto is ours in Christ to enjoy now provisionally. That freedom will be ours in him to enjoy fully and forever in the age to come.
But living out this freedom from Pluto has consequences, some of which are painful.
Living out this freedom in relation to Pluto means allowing Jesus, on a daily basis, to weaken our Olympian personality. This can hurt.
Living out this freedom also means losing the solidarity of love for Pluto we once shared with others. We may find ourselves questioning company policies and being fired. We may find ourselves questioning our recreational spending with friends and find them abandoning us for being no more fun. Our families and even our church might wonder aloud what’s gotten into us and then leave us to what (to them) seems like nothing more than self-righteousness.
(Today’s reflections were guided by Jacques Ellul’s book, Money and Power (trans. LaVonne Neff, Inter-Varsity Press, 1984).
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