Warning: the following post contains spoilers about Harry Potter, if you haven’t read the books yet and would like to at some point in time, you should consider not reading any further.
27th March 2013
So at small group this year, we’ve been trying to look at the bible from an objective point of view, without any of our previous bias, or without our Sunday school or just plain Christian ‘lenses’ on. It’s actually been quite fun, with a whole lot of off conversations that go completely off tangents, but that’s what makes it personal and relatable.
On this particular Wednesday we were looking at the final ‘moments’ in Matthew, and we were looking to see whether, by worldly standards, Jesus was portrayed as having “awesomekingpointfactors’ or ‘loserfoolfactors’. Which was actually pretty interesting, as we were continually compared Jesus to your typical, heroic Aragorns.
So first of all, Jesus gets bound and led away to be delivered to Pilate. This one’s pretty straight forward. He’s not even being delivered to Caesar, it’s just the governor. Definitely not an awesome factor.
Secondly, Judas hangs himself, after betraying Jesus, and there was a pretty mixed view on this. On one hand no one would hang themself after betraying a ‘nobody’ so it therefore this Jesus guy must have been ‘something’ in order for Judas to feel so much guilt and shame. Then again, Jesus just got betrayed. That’s not the best thing in the world, bit of a bad luck brian situation there. Loserfoolpoints.
Next, the crowd save/release the notorious prisoner Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Not very King like.
Jesus is flogged, mocked and stripped. Once again, not very kingly points.
Jesus is crucified, jeered at, and his cast lots over his garments. Some could argue here, that the fact that they pay so much attention in mocking him, and calling him King of the Jews, would indicate that he is somewhat better than the average Joe, but at the end of the day, this whole situation is still quite a mockery and doesn’t really portray Jesus in a very kingly light.
Jesus dies. Now on one hand, at some point in time, every king in the stories we read, die. On the other hand, in some cheesy way their ‘legacy’ lives on. It’s always a stunning ceremony or valiant warlike death, with a beautiful slow, yet powerful song playing in the background. Well this one isn’t quite like that.
Then all of a sudden, the curtain of the temple is town in two, an earthquake occurs, and people were suddenly filled with awe saying that ‘Truly this was the Son of God.’ Definite awesome points here.
And finally, Jesus rises from the dead. Now I think this definitely tops the charts. To conquer death is definitely one of those points that make someone ridiculously awesome, and there’s not too much that you can argue about that.
So what we have leading up to the death (and resurrection) of Jesus, is a whole lot of situations where Jesus is being portrayed as, let’s face it, a pretty pathetic guy. Nobody really likes him, he’s getting backstabbed by the people who he thought was closest to him, and he gets mocked, flogged, and killed. So it’s a bit awkward isn’t it, if Jesus was the awesome guy that we think he is, why was he so pathetic leading up to his death. Why wasn’t he defiant against Pilate and the crowd, when they accused him?
And this is where Harry Potter comes in. Bear with me. In Harry Potter, one of the biggest twists to the story line revealed in the Deathly Hallows isn’t the existence of the hallows. Neither is it that Harry is the final horcrux, we had all assumed that was coming. But the major twist was when we learn about Severus Snape. Now all along, we’ve all hated Snape, he was the mean professor who had a grudge against Harry’s father, and was taking it out on Harry because he’s a low life, pathetic guy. Additionally, we know he was a death eater, refused to give Harry occlumency lessons, and killed Albus Dumbledore. Yet as he dies, Snape gives Harry the opportunity to see his past, and we learn that Snape did everything, for Harry. That Snape was a good guy all along. I’m not going to go into intentions, because I don’t like that part, but the point is, all of sudden you look back, and all the moments where you want to hate on Snape for being a pathetic, and a low life, all those moments were for good. And honestly, it’s like game changing, all of a sudden when you go back and you reread the books, you’re whole view changes. Yes, at the end of the day Snape is still human, and you he still has greasy yucky hair, but ultimately you see him as a hero, and not the scumbag you had previously thought he was.
And that’s pretty much exactly what we have here. By the world’s standard, the events leading up to Jesus’ death reveal him to be some sort of loser who everyone hates on. And he does really weird or what seems to be pathetic things: he doesn’t stand up for himself, he doesn’t confront his betrayer (even though he knows who it is), and he dies. But what comes next, changes everything before it. The tearing of the curtain in the temple, and Jesus’ resurrection make a mockery of all the trivial situations that came before. The ultimate statement of failure in death is utterly crushed by the resurrection and the trials before we’re simply His sacrifice for the good of mankind. Game changing stuff.