(June 2, 2015)
I have long wondered about the mentality of the Jews during this time period. How could they simultaneously feel that they were righteous, and at the same time present false accusations against Jesus and call out to “crucify Him!”?
There is the recurring statement that each of us see ourselves as the hero (or victim) of our own story. To a great extent, that is actually true. After all, the Savior would have performed His Atonement just for us, and the perfect Plan is not only perfect in aggregate but also perfect for each of us.
But that can easily lead us to become blind to our own sins and weaknesses. That is why it is so important to read the scriptures, because our self-deception crashes against this immovable source of truth and forces us to open our eyes. It is also why it is so important for us to evaluate ourselves based upon our actions rather than our motivations. Because we can lie to ourselves about our motivations (rationalization is powerful), but our actions are a stark demonstration of who we are.
And if we are making false accusations and screaming “crucify Him!” (or whatever unrighteous behavior we have engaged in), that is probably a good indication that we need to repent.