Wasn’t today Good Friday? Heck, yes, it was. It was the day when Jesus Christ was sucking up all our sins like a celestial vacuum cleaner.
I need a messiah to come do the same thing right now. I want the same reset button, so I can start sinning again. No, wait, actually it’s okay, I don’t really care. Anyway, neither JC nor his Dad appeared to bother about Asia (where I come from) when he was wielding his vacuum cleaner.
From a young age, I was taught that if I sinned, I would have to pay for my sins. That at the very least, I would be reprimanded and if I had been really naughty, I might go to jail or even be hanged or electrocuted. Nobody ever told me that I would be rewarded with a reset, my sins wiped clean, all temporary files deleted. Back where I came from, no bearded guy with a beatific smile came around and simply relieved thieves, rapists and murderers off their guilt.
This taking on others’ sins seems like a typically Christian thing to me. Cause all the mayhem you want and then sit back and have some sucker come clean up your mess. Who cares if afterward he is strung up for hours, nailed to a cross? Maybe this is why the developed western world (which happens to be 99.9% Christian) has been getting away with so much for so long. They have their own sin-cleansing special agent.
In any case, history suggests that the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, didn’t actually want to go through with the crucifixion. He was antsy and besides, he had promised to go camping in Antioch with his nubian mistress, Xaxavera. She had a couple of female cousins lined up for some weekend kinky zing. He wanted a rollicking Friday.
All Ponty wanted was for JC to confirm that Judea was under Tiberius’s rule and authority. That’s it. He could go on preaching whatever he wanted to, Ponty didn’t care, as long as the people of Judea didn’t stir up trouble for the empire. JC could have said to his followers that the moon was blue, Ponty didn’t give a shit.
In this regard the next Prophet who came along, Mohammad, succeeded. He made a compromise with the Meccan tribal chieftains early, when he was a rookie, starting out. He said to them, though not in so many words, ‘You go ahead and believe in what you want to believe and leave us to believe in what we want to believe. Only, don’t prevent any of your folk from joining us if he wishes to. I’ll get mighty pissed if you do.’ As a result, today one in four humans in the world is a Muslim.
JC did make a half-hearted attempt at diplomacy. At a Town-hall meeting he said,’ Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s’. Evidently he didn’t mean it or was confused as to what was God’s and what was Caesar’s. Understandable. He didn’t have Dick Cheney as his adviser.
Can one even imagine how long it takes to die of a crucifixion, nailed to a cross? 24 hours? 36? What exactly did JC learn from it all? Or, did he even realize that there was a lesson in it for him? That in order to get your way, sometimes you have to make little compromises. It is a strong reed that is supple and bends in the wind.
Wouldn’t the people of Judea have been better off with him alive, instead of literally throwing away his life like that? If I had been JC, I would have built bridges with Romans and eventually made them see the light, instead of telling them to go to hell. I would have begun by giving a little and taking a little. Which, by the way, is exactly how Charlemagne finally got converted.
Heck, more importantly, what exactly did we learn from that very painful death that this very misguided carpenter suffered?
This is not Good Friday. This is Misguided Friday.