It's Maundy Thursday as I write this, and I'm working on Good Friday. A link from The Issac Papers lead me to an article about the Judas Gospel. It got me thinking about all the questions that and the new "tomb of Jesus" stories are bringing up. So many asking "when", "how" and "if" of Jesus' death and resurrection. My question is "Why?" Why did a mother have to wait at the foot of a cross for her son to die? Why did loyal friends share a meal, and then deny knowing their Rabbi? Why is this the night that changed the world forever?
The night that changed the numbering of the world is ostensibly Christmas Eve, the night Jesus was born. Remember the B.C. and A.D. lables we used before politically correctness changed it? Not that that question of "When" or "How" Christ was born will ever be answered completely for the critics. The "Why" seems clearer to me:
He was born so that Shepherds would feel like Kings, and Kings would come running like sheep. He was born so Love would have a face and fingernails like each of us! I think Mary knew that He was born because " To know, know, know you, is to love, love, love you." And he does, love us that is. His whole life is an expression of God's love, and a perhaps over-the-top attempt to get us to understand that love, and to live in that love.
Why did people clamor for his meals, and scorn his dinner partners? Why did women beg for healing, and powerful men plot against him? Why did he connect with those who needed him the most, and alienate those who should have been able to spot the Messiah coming a millenia away?
Because he came for love, not power. He came in kindness and not in contempt. Jesus walked this earth with us, for us and among us, not above us. Jesus loves us, this we know. That's what the Bible keeps saying, in all of the stories, in all of the laws, in all of the songs. God love us and keeps loving us even when we don't love back.
That's why the sun stopped and the curtain tore and the earth shook. Love is powerful; more powerful than rulers and kings. More powerful than earthly constructs and contracts. The loss of Love for just a few moments was more than the earth could take. Love so strong that even the Devil couldn't keep it away from you. Why Easter Morning comes every year, every day, even if someone finds the bones of Jesus.