“When Jesus therefore had received the wine, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30
Those were the final (at least for hot second, apparently) words of Great Rabbi and Palestinian Dissident Yeshua Ben Joseph Ben David, AKA Jesus of Nazareth.
That was the act, Christian’s claim, being the sole event needed for eternal salvation.
Now they await his triumphant return.
As you no doubt have realized I am no Christian in the traditional biblical sense but I think the life, words, and deeds of Christ remain an excellent template for how others should live and interact with each other. Jesus rolled with the common of society. He did not want for riches, power or fame. In reading the words and deeds of Jesus as written in the New Testament, after stripping away the rationalizations, sleights of hand, and pagan symbolism present in modern Christianity we are left with the wisdom-teachings of Jesus, including sayings and parables. The Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus channeled his inner Buddha he gave alternatives to the ignorant form of morality and justice espoused in the Old Testament. The spiritual truth of these is also self-evident, or at least testable and observable in life. These do not benefit any human authority, especially the State/Church complex.
Oh and how he fought with the State/Church complex power structure of his time: The money changers he kicked out of his father’s temple, the corrupt religious “authority” who concerned themselves with pomp and circumstance, ritual and liturgy instead of the war of the spirit. He was given the death penalty by the Roman Empire, another wrongly convicted man with way too many cheering adversaries at the blood letting and way too little support from those who loved and learned from him.
Not much has changed in the 2 plus millennia since the events of Golgotha, or in keeping with biblical parlance “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9. Jesus would still catch the same flak today. His “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” would have landed him on the FBI’s COINTELPRO list, with other peaceful activists. The NSA would search his emails. The IRS would provide extra scrutiny when auditing his non-profit every year.
Today Jesus would be considered not only a rebel, if not a terrorist, and most certainly a threat to the establishment and the status quo. Like two millennia ago that is never to be tolerated. And the Empire he lives under would silence him like the empires MLK and Ghandi lived under silenced them. I often wonder if his followers today would be crying at the cross or bartering for his robes.
Two millennia later his message of language of love and forgiveness still have not caught on in any tangible way. We are still a divided people divided by the basest and most trivial differences. These differences are exploited by the empowered elite today as they were in his own day.
This, of course and to his eternal credit, did not stop his ministry. He came as a teacher and also as a savior, not to save us from a fiery hell for failing to follow a litany of rules but saving us from the spiritual death that accompanies those who worship the Gods of division, selfishness, and fear. To save us from ourselves when we fail to realize how powerful and beautiful we can be when we realize our unity as one. Not coming to die for us but to LIVE for us as an example as what we could be if we exemplified his words and teachings.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14-12
He believed in us, more so than we obviously believe in ourselves.
So on this day Christians all over the world will remember his sacrifice and will await the Return of Jesus Christ.
Me? I await the next Jesus. We never got the memo the first time through no fault of his own…