One of the things I like about being a Christian is the absurdity. Basically, it’s just another belief system, and goodness knows plenty of those exist. What’s special about Christianity is how truly foolhardy it is.
I mean, get this; a week ago a Jewish carpenter turned prophet waltzed into Jerusalem on the eve of Passover. He’s celebrated like he was king of the Jews, palm branches and hosannas and such. Then, less than a week later, he’s gotten the crap beaten out of him, dying on a cross like any common criminal. His followers were allowed to retrieve his body, set it in a tomb. End of story of yet another alleged messiah.
Now, if you have faith, you take it as fact that a couple of days later Jesus rose from the dead, proving that he was more than a wandering prophet. He stunned his disheartened followers, then ascended into heaven. And over two thousand years later he’s still heralded as the Son of God.
To me, that’s not the absurd part. Throw enough advertising behind an idea or product or politician and the average Joe is hooked. What gets me is that the night before he’s going to be assaulted, tried, then hung, Jesus had dinner with his closest male friends. (I make the gender distinction, because when he was hanging from that cross, the women who loved him surrounded him.) After they ate, Jesus, their teacher and leader for the last few years, got down on his knees and washed their feet. Peter, the most outspoken, was offended, but Jesus brooked no such nonsense. ”I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Jesus couldn’t have made it any more plain; if the Son of God can wash feet, well… But deities aren’t supposed to be that earthy, or die on crosses. Pretty fictional, if you ask me; as a writer, I certainly couldn’t have come up with a more far-fetched way to start a religion.
It’s supposed to be about power and wealth, palm branches and hosannas and all that business. Yet with Christ, it was always the most unlikely method. Born in a manger to an unmarried teenager. Turns water into wine at a wedding where frivolity already runs rampant. Escaping from crowds who want to crown him king. And on the eve of his death, he’s washing these guys’ feet, really?
According to John 13:15, that’s what Christ did. Then he allowed himself to be arrested. He permitted Jewish high priests to slap him around, then faced the Roman governor Pilate, who could see the machinations behind the charges. Jesus was another messiah-thorn to the Jewish leaders, but washing his hands of the whole mess, Pilate let the story proceed as it would. After getting the snot beaten out of him, Jesus was hung between two condemned men. Women stood nearby, including his mother. Mary watched her son die, another Jew dead under the Romans.
Tomorrow is Good Friday and Sunday is Easter. To many, it’s a holiday not much different than Christmas, save the massive commercial build-up. To me, it’s a reminder of the absurdity of life, my life. I’m not just a wife, mother, writer. I’m a child of a God of the foolhardy. I’m a daughter of a King who is in three parts. My best friend is a guy who spent thirty-three years on earth, but only during the last three did he make a big deal of his destiny; to save the world through the ultimate act of love.
Are you serious?
Yes, I am.
On my dresser sits a page-a-day calendar, scriptural in nature. Today’s quote is from Kevin A. Miller: The reason Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross was so He could reach them around people like you and me.
Who is this Jesus anyways? How in the heck does he even know who I am? And is he even real? There is no tangible proof, no way to ascertain the validity of bibles, or hunches. My very strong hunch is that God exists, Jesus is his son, the holy spirit set deep within my heart. Now, I could be completely wrong, and I won’t know until I’m dead. But this world is an odd place. Maybe, amid the media hype, there is room for a guy who washes feet and loves unreservedly.
Wishing a peaceful Good Friday and a very Happy Easter to all.