Part IV of this series continues with Steps #3 and #4 of the scapegoating process. Remember that the process occurs over a passage of time. So the clock, that lives inside the human mind, plays a significant role in enabling an escalation of emotion. To continue looking at the process, I will follow the actions of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of John.

Step #3: Time is used to restrain the accusers. 

The scapegoat mechanism requires a time of restraint. People must experience a time of limitation, or curtailment, in order to boost loyalty among the assembled accusers. During this time of restraint, the assembly demands allegiance to their cause which discourages any defection. Loyalty is determined by listening to the most powerful voices of authority—even if those voices are dead wrong, about the dis-easiness, that plagues the group. The time of restraint builds fidelity to a perceived truth—even if it is an utter lie. As people feel restrained from taking action against their chosen scapegoat, they bond together with increased solidarity, as well as, an increased determination to eliminate their victim.

Restraint also provides time to polarize. Walls are erected between opposing voices. Some people may wish to speak truth to the assembly, but the longer the duration of dis-easiness continues, the deeper the polarization becomes. No outside voices of reason can change the minds of the accusers. Ears become closed. Deafness sets in. Each day of restraint brings increased anxiety. The group cries out louder, with increase intensity, for their sense of justice to prevail. Only an elimination of the scapegoat will ease their discomfort. No other solution is sought.

The time of restraint is mentioned in John 7:30, and again in John 8:20. Listen.

“Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.”

He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

These two verses demonstrate the time of restraint placed upon Jesus’ accusers. They were prevented from harming him, while the passage of time allowed them to fatten their list of perceived offenses. The time of restraint only raised the level of anxiety among those who wanted Jesus killed. We should not be surprised then, that a waiting crowd was poised and ready to cry, “Crucify him” when his hour finally came.

Step #4: Time is used to constrict the victim. 

The fourth stage, in the scapegoat mechanism, employs the clock to carry out the plan of elimination. The best analogy, for the time of constriction, is the position of checkmate in the game of chess. When a player’s king is placed in checkmate, the player concedes the loss of the game. The player knows his king cannot escape capture. No future move is possible.

Jesus knew precisely when his time of capture had come, as is evidenced by the following words in chapters 12, 13, and 17 of John’s gospel. After all, Jesus had manipulated the entire saga from beginning to end. He composed and directed his own funeral music. He choreographed the fatal dance with the devil—all according to his time. Listen to his awareness.

Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” John 12:23. 

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end, John 13:1.

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you,” John 17:1.

Constriction is one of the ways that snakes kill their prey. The snake wraps itself around its victim, becoming tighter and tighter. Constriction can be a slow, or rapid coiling. But, there is no escaping the grip of the snake. Jesus fully expected all participants in his death, to follow the orders barked out by the satan, inside their heads. They would all tighten their grip on him, as the shadow on the sundial dictated the timing of Jesus’ final moments.

It was Passover—a religiously observed event on the Jewish calendar. The celebration lasts for a full week. Thus, the perfectly timed event was set. The players would call him a king, and all pawns would move in their predictable manner. Checkmate.

Ironically, the timing of Jesus’ death was hastened to ensure that his body could be buried, by sundown, on the afternoon before the Sabbath. The Sabbath day could not begin with a dead body, that could not be buried for 24 hours, because no one is allowed to work on the Sabbath. It was all written into Torah. Listen.

These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a Passover offering to the Lord, and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations. Leviticus 23:4-8.

Even more ironic, Passover is a remembrance of the release of the Jews from slavery, under Pharaoh’s system of domination! But, who was enslaved on this particular Passover? Certainly not Jesus. He had established the timing of his own death, by his own freedom of will. Therefore, the ones enslaved, were those who jumped up and down to the rhythm of the lesser spiritual government. Those enslaved, were his captors, and the servants carrying out his execution.

Make no mistake about it.

The people in captivity at the time of the crucifixion were—and still are—all of us.

In the book of Exodus, Pharaoh played the role of the lesser spiritual government, or the devil. During the time of Jesus, the Jews had not yet seen the correlation between physical slavery, and spiritual slavery. They hadn’t realized that, although God freed them from a physical system of domination, they had yet to be freed from the spiritual domination, of their own timekeeping devices, that governed every aspect of their lives.

Sadly, their ancient blindness remains our present blindness.

So, Jesus launched his campaign against the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, by asking a lame man to pick up his mat, on a Sabbath day in ordinary time. But, ironically—or not—his campaign ended just before sundown, when another Sabbath day in ordinary time, was about to begin. Thus, Jesus died at his chosen hour, and the laws of the Sabbath day continued as usual.

Time went on.

Defeating Satan:

Did anyone know that Jesus overthrew the power of the human clock—the hiding place for satan’s government? No! Not at the time.

Jesus took humanity’s clock to the grave and killed its power, yet even today, we live as if nothing changed. We still don’t have a conscious awareness of the exact nature of the overthrow that took place, 2,000 years ago. We continue to be deceived by the spiritual power of the lesser government, its voice, and the authority that our timekeeping images have in our heads. By all earthly appearances, the satan is alive and well in our world—deceiving the nations.

Oblivious to our collective obedience to temporal time, people will go to their deaths to defend time-honored customs, traditions, rituals, heritage, nationalism, and all man-made systems of domination. People will die believing they are defending God’s will for their lives. In reality, we continue to defend satan’s well-orchestrated will for humanity.

Meanwhile, the gift of true dominion, offered by God’s eternal government, escapes our enjoyment, because we suffer from an unrecognized, undiagnosed time sickness.

To continue with the final blog in this series read, “My Hour” Part V.