Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Day For a Hangin'


In countries like America where spirituality is expressed through the context of Christianity, today is Good Friday, the Friday after Palm Sunday where Jesus is snatched up and hung on a cross. It doesn't get much play in the media because there are no consumer products associated with it. For an interesting angle on the crucifixion itself, check out

Image of Jesus' crucifixion may be wrong, says study

"The image of the crucifixion, one of the most powerful emblems of Christianity, may be quite erroneous, according to a study which says there is no evidence to prove Jesus was crucified in this manner...

The authors do not express any doubt on the act of Jesus' crucifixion itself..."

On a different note, the National Geographic channel on satellite/cable TV has been running a special on the Gospel of Judas, a 1700 year old manuscript that has recently been brought to public attention. Apparently, before the Roman Empire co-opted Christianity and made it the state religion around 300 AD, there were 30 or more Gospels in circulation amongst the Christians. The Romans cut it to the 4 that are in the New Testament.

I've seen only a few glimpses of the show, and but did check out the National Geographic Gospel of Judas website. The sense I got is because a major pillar of Christianity is Christ suffering for our sins, the crucifixion was essential. Since the followers of Jesus loved him, they couldn’t have brought themselves to betray him, so Jesus had to turn to his most trusted disciple, Judas, to do so. Popular opinion is that Judas was the bad guy in the drama, but the Gospel of Judas portrays him in a different light, as the one disciple who could be relied upon to carry out Jesus’ request to betray him.

Not mentioned here, but an even more radical view is that the true Messiah was not Jesus, but Judas. If Christ suffered for all our sins, even through the present, well, do the karmic math. Has all of mankind’s sins been expiated by three days of suffering? Jesus hung for 3 days, then was resurrected, and eventually elevated to Heaven, and has been adored and worshiped ever since. Judas, on the other hand, also died on a tree (hung himself) so was denied entrance to Heaven, and has therefore been suffering, ongoing suffering, all this time, parallel to the ongoing sins of mankind. Plus, he has been reviled by virtually everyone, all of whom take pride in thinking that they would not have betrayed Jesus. Pride is the root cause of all sins, the idea that I am more important than others, therefore I deserve more, at whatever cost. Profit, adoration, or distinction. The desire that causes us to fall from Vaikuntha. So Judas could be suffering for the sins of all.

I am not endorsing the idea, but it is interesting to contemplate.

2 Comments:

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Chaits said...

The Gnostic view point, as presented in the Gospel of Judas, says that Judas was playing a part in the Divine Revelation at the direct request of Jesus. This is very close to the Vedic view that even the "demons" in the Divine Play are great devotees. Some even put forth the position that the dedication/devotion of the "demons" is greater than many of the others because they were willing to play the roles that the others wouldn't.

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Chaits said...

Below is a link to another article from Slate.com that discusses the Gospel of Judas:

http://www.slate.com/id/2139781/nav/tap1/

 

Post a Comment

<< Home