Sunday, April 08, 2007

Good Easter!

I unofficially conducted my own little Easter vigil last night, staying up far later than I should have, following streams of consciousness on the Web.

One of the last things I came across, oddly enough, shortly after Midnight, was a clip from on Jesus Christ Superstar on Youtube.

The Gospel According to Judas, you could say, long before the actual texts were discovered. A lot of people say this movie is blasphemy, but I have to stop and wonder about that. Is it, really blasphemy to have a character speaking what almost everyone since A.D. 33 has been thinking?

"Everytime I look at you, I don't understand how you could let the things you did get so out of hand..." To this day, I don't know that anyone understands Jesus completely. Theologians, amateur and professional, try to "package" him (as one of my old pastors called it), others obfuscate him to where He probably wouldn't know Himself, still others put Him on a pedistal without ever looking for what He was about.

Just from what we have about Him in the Bible, is it really possible to blasphemy against Him? In bodily life, He took the form of a humble carpenter. He was not a born into the Royal Household, and He shunned the company of the local High and Mighty. He chose, rather, to surround Himself with the very dregs of society: the lower working class, the destitute, and even those of means were branded "sinners" in the society of the day. It's hard to grasp, having grown up in a nation that prides itself for being egalitarian, but admit it, aren't there just certain people you'd rather not let your children play with? Yes, those people. He hung out with them.

So, again, is it remotely possible to blaspheme against such a person? Against the image that has built up around him in just under 2000 years, sure, but to try to strip away the centuries of dogma surrounding Him, to try to get to know Jesus on terms we can cope with, is that so wrong? To get behind the Orthodox icons with the metalic halos and the blue-eyed Max von Sydow depictions, to try to find the man who grew up in a small town in a backwards province of the Roman Empire, to actually see the man who took upon Himself the lowest possible role in life, that of scapegoat not only for His family, His tribe, or His race, but for all of humanity?

How do you blaspheme against that?

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