The forty days before the Feast of Easter is commonly known as the Lenten Season. It is a particularly holy season for Catholics because of its focus on Christ’s passion which was necessary to his Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It would be very easy to overlook the significance of this deeply spiritual season if one becomes accustomed to an historical viewpoint about something that happened to a man named Jesus a very long time ago. But what significance can we gain from meditating on Christ’s journey to the cross and his victory over death if we inspect it through our modern ways of thinking? Can we gain a deeper insight into the value of this season if we put Jesus into the here and now? Here are 7 modern approaches to discovering the value of Lent:
1. A Summit on Sin: After striding into Washington, DC amid crowds of followers who welcome him, Jesus holds a Summit Meeting to promote God’s kingdom as the true sovereignty in our lives, he proposes an end to terminating tiny children, he desires for people to respect the sanctity of marriage, he calls people to seek God and repent their misguided actions, he recommends that we give up anything we own that stands in the way of seeking God. He holds a banquet for the members of the Summit to share in his worldwide view for humanity. Protestors at the Summit construct an enormous coffer in which they toss in their ammo, they pitch in tons of vulgar toys, books, magazines, cd’s and dvd’s that promote violence, sex and inhumanity, they throw in human debris from local clinics, drugs, alcohol and environmental waste; and finally non-believers hold up signs promoting their wish to bring Jesus to trial for using a Summit as a religious way to force his ideas on people.
2. Jesus on Trial at Supreme Court: After ample testimony is presented to prove that Jesus violated the rights of citizens by using a Summit Meeting to promote religious ideas, for principles that invalidate the desire for depravity as something good, and inciting the public to revolution, the Supreme Court sentences Jesus to death as a traitor to the State.
3. Jesus’ Penalty begins: The enormous coffer constructed by non-believers and protestors is closed. Jesus is taken to the Federal Penitentiary and beaten; he is then forced to carry the heavy coffer up to Capitol Hill where he will be will put to death for treason and sedition.
4. The Green Mile: Jesus’ journey through the crowds in the blistering heat of the city is treacherous. People are screaming obscenities at him, throwing sharp objects at him, spitting on him, and gesturing signals of violence.
5. Media coverage: CNN and local news stations are on the sidelines to cover the event of the century. Reporters are using politically correct language to sanction the inhumane treatment of a man who promoted God’s love, peace, and justice, claiming that because there is no God, the condemned man is imposing radical unscientific ideas on the masses. His followers are nearby pleading for mercy and many bystanders are using their phones to record the event and post their vile comments to social media, and blogging on the internet.
6. A Public Embarrassment: Jesus reaches the top of Capitol Hill. For crimes against the rights of free love, freedom of choice, the rights of government to impose anti-religious laws and for inciting anarchy, Jesus is publically humiliated and stripped of his clothing. The executioners post his garments on Ebay, with a beginning bid of 10 million dollars for the clothes of a man who would use his words to oppress people’s rights to put a complete end to God’s Kingdom.
7. Jesus is Crucified: Jesus is nailed to the coffer and it is raised up on the hill so that everyone across the world, via television and the internet can see that the nonsense of God’s Kingdom has finally been laid to rest. CNN reports that God is officially dead.
If the story ended there, a triumphant movie about the end of God would hit the theaters grossing billions of dollars and life on the planet would go on just as before. But Christians are Christians because they believe the story did not end there. Not by a longshot. A future article will focus on a Modern Easter.