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.
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?