Jesus In Pain by Kevin Tully
When Jesus exclaimed, "It is finished," I would imagine he imagined that his suffering would cease and "bring the weary world into the light of day." No such luck. Christian fundamentalists are steady collecting ever more thorns, sharpening their lances and replenishing their whips with new supple leather. Hatred, fear, and bigotry are still propelling those so predisposed; still empowering them to continue torturing and hazing Jesus in their questionably spiritual fraternity houses and with their rough, sanguine deeds and exhortations.
There is no "Christianity" in a Christianity that traps Christ on the cross. Love is so simple a mandate. It doesn't require hagiography, theology or apology. However, it does appear that it is hard for "church people" to simply love. As a church person, one, apparently, must very carefully define the other as a rite of inclusion. Institutions, summer camps, fellowship halls and universities must be built to disseminate and codify the profile of "the other." Amazingly, Jesus was precisely "the other."
He was a Jew with few possessions and contempt for authority and cold commerce. He sat on the ground and ate with his hands. He cherished those that society scorned. He loved people. He loved all people not just "his" people. The person of Jesus is a perplexing challenge for most organized religion in that he is not easy to brand. Therefore it requires a tremendous amount of copy, spin and bilious ballyhoo to create a Jesus that fits neatly into the present fundamentalist mold.
The beauty of Jesus Christ is too beautiful. He must be scourged and scourged, over and over again, without rest. He must be a bloody Jesus: "Look, he shed his blood for me, now I will shed yours for him. I will scorn and hate you as I have been taught to do, for him. I will rob and diminish you, for him. I will make you suffer as he suffered, for him."
The man, the carpenter, the Jew never is conceded even the small moment to allow his wounds to heal. Fundamentalism robs Jesus of his beauty -- it never brings him down off the cross. A perpetually torn, bleeding Jesus is not beautiful and without beauty; hate and all the rest prevail.