Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the real Jesus

Last November, when I had a bit more time for such things, I spent an afternoon visiting some of my favorite blogs and came upon this amazing painting by Forrest Kaiser, which I believe he entitled Christ 2. The power of this portrayal struck me. Clearly, this man suffered.

As it happened, that same afternoon I went out googling to find an emergency substitution for evaporated milk so I could whip up a pumpkin pie. It was a bit early--just weeks before Thanksgiving--but what else do you do when your husband drags himself about the house with a need-pumpkin-pie-now look? You bake.

Not long into my search, I came upon a message board with a lot of survivalist information, including the needed evaporated milk substitution. I copied the recipe and then scanned some of the topics. It dawned on me, after reading just a few, that I'd stumbled on a "white power" site. Appalled, I moved my cursor to the top of the page to click off, but just before I did, I saw a thread entitled, "How many people in here still think Jesus was a Jew?"

I stayed. I clicked. I read. And as the words sunk in, I fumed. The message poster--bent on believing lies and determined to take a handful of the gullible with him--quoted a fake document he would only attribute to "a writer from the third century" which described Jesus as a tall, blue-eyed Fabio twin, with curly blonde hair falling upon his beautiful, broad, Aryan shoulders.

How idiotic.

Jesus was Jewish. Only someone completely determined to ignore history could believe otherwise. Doubtless, his eyes and hair were brown. He likely wasn't a tall man, nor was he handsome. The Bible tells us there was nothing about his appearance that would cause anyone to take a second look at him ... except I imagine onlookers stole second and third and fourth looks as he pulled his bloodied, beaten body down the narrow Via de la Rosa that Friday morning, on the way to his crucifixion.

And speaking of the crucifixion, we need to eliminate all those pictures and statues of Jesus wearing a slightly pokey, but not too uncomfortable crown of dullish thorns, and sporting a pristine, white robe. The thorns dug deeply. The blood flowed freely. And the garment was long gone.

I dug out my notes about the ridiculous Aryan site and Forrest's powerful portrait--and the connection I'd made between the two--because in mid-May, Hollywood will premier yet another soundtrack-cushioned lie. The Da Vinci Code will soon be slinking its way to a theater near you. Before you run out and unload your wallet to sit through this movie, let me remind you of the truth:

--The Bible is not a product of man, but is a God-breathed, Holy Spirit inspired love letter.

--Jesus' followers did not view him as merely a "great prophet." You don't go to your own death because a great teacher is being maligned. They were speared, clubbed, beheaded and crucified because they wouldn't back down from what they knew to be true: God had come to earth in the form of a man, sacrificed himself, and raised himself--for them.

--With all due respect to Da Vinci's artistic talent, he simply wasn't there in the Upper Room. His Last Supper is nothing more than an artist's rendering. Whatever Leonardo may have believed about the partakers of that meal, we can only chalk up to imagination.

--As to Jesus and Mary Magdalene marrying and creating their own blood line? Please. God did not leave the throne of heaven to establish a cozy home for himself on earth. He came for an eternal Bride--the Church.

If you like mystery, if you like the idea of secret codes and hidden meaning, all you have to do is pick up your Bible. It's living. No matter how many times you read it through, your next journey will yield new riches. And the code within--when cracked--will unveil a love that's sure to startle, astound, and woo all those who find it.

Oh, how impatient I am these days, how restless. I find myself scrutinizing signs and scanning the clouds and uttering feverish pleas.

Will the real Jesus please stand up?


16 Comment:

At 3/14/2006 8:26 AM, Blogger Hikingalong had this to say ...

Amen, Shannon. Very well said.

At 3/14/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Cathy West had this to say ...

I could elaborate, but this is YOUR blog...

At 3/14/2006 9:49 AM, Blogger Cora had this to say ...

I, too, say Amen.

At 3/14/2006 11:23 AM, Blogger Kari had this to say ...

Amen~ Dave's teaching through John has been awesome and HFG in Revelation is the exclamation point!

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

At 3/14/2006 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

Go get 'em, girl! There's nothing like a fighting lion (lioness) emboldened by The Truth. God bless.

At 3/14/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Destination...Gloryland! had this to say ...

Yes, I also give a hardy AMEN to this post. So many only see what they want to see in Christ and His Word. Unfortuanatly, picking and choosing what fits us or our desires doesn't set us free and doesn't save us. So often our flesh wants to add to or take away from who Jesus was and is. Appreciate your thoughts...

At 3/14/2006 1:43 PM, Blogger Philip Del Ricci had this to say ...


I'm glad that I stumbled in on your BLOG (I think it was BLOGExplosion where I first saw it). I'm trying to perfect a "Need Pumpkin Pie Now" look - that sounds like a good thing to have.

You might enjoy the BLOGs of two friends of mine.

Mystic Alchemy

Saintly Sinner

P. Del Ricci - Dark Glass

At 3/14/2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous crickl's nest had this to say ...

...scanning the clouds indeed! It seems about time to me....thankfully He has compassion and waits. It is really disheartening to see people misaligning His life....I've been seeing the 'Code' movie advertised lately (with one of my favorite actors in it?? By one of my favorite directors?? ack!)

Perhaps it will cause people to investigate the Bible for themselves though.....we should pray.


At 3/15/2006 6:57 AM, Anonymous Pam D. had this to say ...

I joined a neighborhood book club to get to know my neighbors (and hopefully be a light). Wouldn't you know this is the book they want to read this month!! Argh!!! I've been avoiding picking it up...but I want to be prepared to speak truth in love. I always feel like I can't think fast enough on my feet (writing comes so much easier!) so I'm praying for the Holy Spirit anointing on my lips. I think I just might quote some of your insights when we meet on 3/23 ;) Thanks for your beautiful words!

At 3/15/2006 9:30 AM, Blogger Priscilla49 had this to say ...

The Bible says that Jesus was without sin. It says that He was tempted in every way. It says that He obeyed His parents.

First, let me say that 1) the DaVinci Code is a NOVEL and not fact and any idiot that purports it to be so is just that, and 2) I have not read it nor do I believe any of it could have happened because I stand on the authority of the scriptures alone. That all being said, would it in any way diminish my faith or make me think less of Jesus if, in the 'silent years' between His temple visit at age 12 and the onset of His ministry around age 30, He obeyed His parents as a good Jewish boy and married a woman designated by His parents? Would it take anything away from what He did on the cross? Would it make Him 'impure' because He had a duly ordained marriage which He would have honored the bounds of? No, none would affect what I believe, and maybe, if I allowed my brain to stray in that direction, it wouldn't be so terrible to imagine. In fact, if He struggled with marriage problems the way we all do, where is the sin in that?

But more to the point, all scripture is God-breathed and if God did not find it necessary to mention a wife, then it isn't necessary to speculate on and isn't something I need to know. And Shannon, I agree with you. My true position and belief is that His bride is the Church and she is still preparing herself for Him.

At 3/16/2006 6:54 AM, Anonymous Pam D. had this to say ...

Hi again, Shannon. I read something interesting on this topic at http://robinlee.typepad.com (Christian author, Robin L. Hatcher's blog) this morning -- an interesting suggestion about "voting" our movie choice when this comes out. Thought you might want to check it out. ;)

At 3/18/2006 6:07 PM, Blogger Reverberate58 had this to say ...

My first visit, but I will be back. Your words struck me. I have such a hard time with words and being able to stand up for my belief. I am so new to God only born to my faith 6 years now. I still feel like such a babe. When I read blogs like yours and Darlene's I find my faith drawing flame and fire and I pick up my Bible more, find more words to say and keep trying. Truely a good read.

At 3/23/2006 9:26 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess had this to say ...

You go, girl!
Preach it! [the hallelujah chorus is playing in the background]

At 4/02/2006 12:37 PM, Blogger BayouMaMa2 had this to say ...

Hi Shannon!

I remember the first time I read about how "there was nothing about his appearance that would cause anyone to take a second look at him." I was a sophomore in college and had just been saved a few weeks. I was attending a Bible study and Bro. Wesley read this to us. After some discussion, I remember him chuckling to me and saying, "kind of a lot to digest...first you're saved from hell fire, and now you find out that Jesus is ugly."

Of course, I knew he wasn't being disrespectful. He was just getting me past all of those pre-conceived images of Jesus that I had accepted as truth...the world's idea of what a savior would look like.

Jesus may haven't been much to look at as the scripture says...but when I see Him face to face...I will call Him Beautiful.

At 4/14/2006 10:10 PM, Blogger Loni had this to say ...

Very well written. I agree with what you have written - and yes, we just do not grasp the depth of the pain He truly went through. Loni

At 4/14/2006 10:11 PM, Blogger Loni had this to say ...

Very well written. I agree with what you have written - and yes, we just do not grasp the depth of the pain He truly went through. Loni


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