Wednesday, April 20, 2011

13. Jesus Goes to His Execution (Gay Passion of Christ series)

13. Jesus Goes to His Execution (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.” -- John 19:17 (RSV)

The soldiers made Jesus walk to the execution grounds. They forced him to carry the cross on which he would be crucified. It was big news and crowds gathered along the road. They had watched Jesus rise to mass popularity, and now they wanted to see his fall. Almost everyone jeered at him. Surely some of the hecklers had been among his followers. Maybe they shouted louder than the rest to prove that they were not associated with Jesus -- like closeted lawmakers who loudly oppose LGBT rights. The crowd also included some women who wailed in grief. Jesus turned to them and said, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves.

God, my heart breaks when I remember how Jesus died. Create in me a new heart with greater ability to love.

Next: 14. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Trudie said...

Having just finished reading Jimmy Creech's book, the idea of those who were afraid of being identified with the condemned Jesus yelling the loudest epithets resonates strongly. Peter was by no means the only one who denied his Master out of fear. It happened then and it still happens now. Fear is the opposite of Love, as Jesus well knew, and to everyone there comes a moment of crisis when standing up for one's convictions is going to be extremely risky.

By the way, there is also an extremely meaningful post on Chris Glaser's blog today.

KittKatt said...

Trudie, when you and others say that these paintings bring you to tears, I think of Jesus’ own words to those who were weeping for him, quoted in briefly in this post. He was speaking to the women of Jerusalem on the way to Golgotha in Luke 23:

Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."

He went on to say:

“For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

Thanks for the new reference to Jimmy Creech’s book. I plan to highlight it in our Easter newsletter. Your review looks good on Amazon too.

KittKatt said...

"While the persecution of sexual and other minorities is real, we must remember that a major part of the success of this persecution comes from the way in which we too are forced to carry our own crosses, by internalizing the homophobia as self-hatred and guilt." -- from Terence Weldon's commentary on this post at the Queering the Church Blog.

I am thunderstruck at the idea of internalized homophobia as a way in which LGBT people carry our own cross.