[originally written 2003]
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"<
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?">-Words of Jesus on the cross, according to Matthew 15:34
No matter what the agony, you return in less than 48 hours, and you’d be the savior of everyone. Even if you didn’t know you were coming back, the questioners ask, to sacrifice yourself for the world would be worth it, wouldn’t it? People have fallen on grenades, and other acts of sacrificial bravery, to save far fewer. I think this is a pretty good question. Here is one answer:
However, in all fairness, compared with saving the world — whether or not you knew you were coming back — it’s not the biggest deal in the universe many Christians make it out to be. The problem is that as humans we think in human terms, and the easiest thing in the Crucifixion story to relate to is the crippling torture and humiliating death Jesus faced.
But, the questioners are right. In the greater scheme of things, one death — to save all of humanity, no less — is not that big a deal.
In the Christian tradition, Jesus is a part of God, and came to Earth to become human too. He was born perfect and lived without sin. His entire life. Whether you’re a Christian or not, try to imagine that. It’s not that tough not to rape and murder if you’re decent person. But every tiny little thing you’ve ever done, from yelling at your kids to sneaking food into a movie theater; Jesus didn’t do any of those things. His entire life was lived without spot or wrinkle.
April 18, 2003
See all of this year's Easter-themed posts: Easter Parade
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death"
from VIA DOLOROSA