Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bloody Cross, Bloody mess: Making sense of the senseless

Have you ever had the feeling that everything is going to work out just fine? You know, the sense that in the midst of your pain it will all come together for good. I know that sense, that feeling. It doesnt happen very often but when it does it just feels, well, for lack of a better word, Divine. I get this sense that this is exactly what the Jesus story is about. More than being a story of bloody sacrifice it is a story of "knowing" that everything will work out fine. The story doesnt deny pain or try to gloss over the struggle. What it does do for me is acknowledge that in the midst of this pain we can be different. We can rise above our pettiness, hurts, anger and resentments. The story shows a man who has almost complete confidence in the fact that in the grand scheme of things, he's OK. He is willing to show us by example how to live our lives and then with the ultimate conviction he is willing to die for it. He has figured out that there is an eternal life, that there is more than what we can see or touch. Now remember there are some moments when the doubt creeps in, afterall he is human like you or I. Yet in his awareness of safety he is able to rise above those doubts and show us another way. In the story we see someone care for others, love his enemies, take part in our struggles. And while doing all of this not allowing himself to partake in the nastiness that this life can also offer. I see so often in this world, people who are committed to seeing life from its painful parts, in the Jesus story I see one who decided to see the good parts and acknowledge that we do have life abundantly even when our bodies die.


Luke said...

there it is! wonderful!

i always say that "jesus didn't die for us... anyone can die for something.. but to LIVE for something. wow. that in and of itself is divine."

RAWK x10!

Redlefty said...

I think you nailed it.

The word I think of is "free". Jesus was free. Once eternity, evil and all the unsolved cosmic problems aren't such a concern... we're free to just see the good and do something nice for somebody today.

Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Christianity so bent on saying that Jesus is God that they forget that he was also human. His life is used as a model for us to achieve, as one of my friends recently said he was told by a church leader, "perfection." Instead, we ought to focus more on Jesus as human and the grace he offered and the tolerance he offered and the love that he offered and the courage that he offered. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

"in the Jesus story I see one who decided to see the good parts and acknowledge that we do have life abundantly even when our bodies die." (John)

In other words, the emphasis was 'hope' and not 'dope' (lol)

I agree - this, at least for me, is the crux of what keeps me reading and learning - this person lived a life that seems to set a good pattern/foundation for mine.

Doug is right, it's not about the perfection goofiness Christianity is obsessed with - but about the human-ness of a person that lived a Christ-like existence (an existence that exists sometimes here but also somewhere after this).

I am not a fan of the blood used in the Christian faith - and the whole 'cover me in blood' imagery - uh...just the doorposts please if we are going to play that metaphorical game. The death is only meaningful if the life was worth knowing about!

Tit for Tat said...

The death is only meaningful if the life was worth knowing about!

Great comment Jason!

faithlessinfatima said...

John...if I might suggest...let's not discount the evangelist's intention when reading the passion narratives...we tend to read compositely...here's a good link to illustrate what I'm getting at...go to Crossan's piece on Mark's gospel with respect to the question,"Can you characterize the way Mark portrays Jesus and what kind of audience he's trying to play to?"

... http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/gospels.html