I realized that I promised you an article entitled “The Passion Play” but unfortunately I couldn’t finish it in time for this weekend. What I have are my thoughts on Easter.
As I write this I’m feeling particularly sad, disappointed and melancholy concerning Easter, and the event which made it the central holy day of Christianity over 2000 years ago. But, you know, it happened long ago and it wouldn’t really bother me except just one thing.
Why do they call it Good Friday? And another thing while we’re on the topic; We’re all aware of the negative connotation which is attributed to any 13th calendar day when it happens to fall on a Friday and this is also something which I discussed in length back several posts ago. It’s bad enough that many of us are still hung up on the thinking that bad luck will be lurking just around the corner on that day. What should be discussed is how to get us away from this denial about how bad that fateful Friday was back 2000 years ago.
Okay, let’s start with an explanation from good ole Wikipedia.com about what’s going on with Friday the 13th.
“King Philip IV of France, in collusion with then Pope Clement V, had Grand Master Jaques De Molay and sixty of his Templar brothers arrested as apostates on Friday the thirteenth of October 1307. This was done in order to claim the famed properties and wealth of the Knights Templars as their own.”
You know who the Templars are, right? Basically they were the organization seemingly in charge with protecting the faithful in their pilgrimage to Israel. What you might not know is that this was a front. They were really charged with finding and safeguarding The Holy Grail or the record of the lineage of King David to Jesus and from Jesus and Mary’s descendants up until that time. Now, because the fact that Jesus and Mary were married with children at the time of the crucifixion was a dangerous idea indeed, the pope couldn’t approve it and thus had them stamped out through his tool, King Phillip.
Now, that’s an awful long time ago but fortunately for us modern folks we must give thanks to Thomas Lawson, an author who wrote a story entitled “Friday The Thirteenth” about an unscrupulous Wall Street broker who uses that same superstition to create a panic on Wall Street. This seems to be how the idea of Friday the 13th became popularized.
But, I just don’t see anyone who will courageously step up to the plate and explain to us (at this point in time that is) explicitly why this day when Jesus was murdered at the hands of the Pharisees, Pontius Pilate and the roman soldiers has to be called Good Friday.
Are we particularly happy to see Jesus hanging, nailed and bleeding up on the cross every single day that we enter the church that we frequent the most? It shouldn’t make you happy. It’s my opinion that if the site of an image of your God and your savior in the process of dying in such an ungodly gruesome way is pleasant then there is something wrong with you.
Would you stand by idly while someone was being mugged and murdered on the street in your neighborhood? Then why should you stand by idly when this image of Jesus is so blatantly placed in front of your church as to give you no other choice but to look at it, unless of course if you closed your eyes?
I’m trained as a theologian and I’m well aware of the history surrounding this event and what is written in the bible. And although the professors and mentors of mine at the time went to great lengths to persuade me of the right kind of thinking and faith to have about this, I still don’t get it.
What lies at the core of me being upset at what happened to Jesus because of all of this is the fact that we have very little of his teachings to read. Look at the religion of Buddhism. They have reams of Gautama’s words of wisdom. Why should Christianity, one of the most popular religions in the world be so lacking in the words of the teaching of its leader?
I would really cherish a book that contained all of Jesus’ words of wisdom rather than his words from a second hand story. Well, that’s precisely what those four books in the New Testament of the bible is, isn’t it? I mean, no where in the Bible is there the recorded text from what Jesus may have written down from a book of his teachings which he might have written. Was he an intelligent man? If he was surely he had the ability to write. And if he did don’t you think he would have written a book that would have been passed down through all of these years like the Buddha’s teachings were?
Can we confidently say that the teachings of Jesus are equal with that of Buddhism?
Do any of you really know? If you do and if it’s not too much to distract you from this celebration of Jesus’ death…oh forgive me…his death AND resurrection, I would gladly welcome your views on this matter.
Happy Easter everyone.