I was a guest at a wedding on Saturday. It's not common for me to go to church because it generally makes me angry. I've trained myself to notice when I'm being emotionally manipulated and so a church service sends up red flags like a communist golf course.
The most impressive piece of manipulation was the crucifix. Christ has always been portrayed as suffering for our sins. Hanging limply from the brace of one of history's most horrific execution devices.
I can't help but feel that this church romanticised the experience a little.
I can't WAIT to be crucified!
I've always found it to be a macabre sort of logo. The Jesus Fish was, I felt, a decent attempt at rebranding although it didn't really take. I guess the idea that the magic trick of multiplying fish is seen as less impressive than that of absolving the sins of mankind.
And that's what it was all about, right? Jesus dies so that mankind's sins are absolved. Jesus goes to hell and we go to heaven in his place. But he didn't, did he? He came back after three days.
Not even three days. He died after 3pm on the Friday and he was back up and out of the cave before dawn on the Sunday. That's... what? Less than 37 hours? And then he ascended bodily to heaven to live forever and ever at God's side.
So 37 hours in hell by Mr J. O'Nazareth is enough to account for all the sins in the world? Even the murders and the rape and the genocide? All Hitler had to do was accept Jesus into his heart on his deathbed and then BAM! Absolved. Is that an eye for an eye?
If so, I guess we can conclude that:
A) Jesus was really really valuable and/or Hell is very, very nasty indeed
B) Someone upstairs is much better at writing up contracts than everyone else downstairs.
But that doesn't make any sense because where would the lawyers end up?