According to the Hindu myth, the Goddess Durga was fighting with the beastly demon king Mahishasur for a long time. She did not know whom she was fighting except the tyrannical demon. But after she succeeded killing him, he falls in front of her and he thanks her saying, “Thank you for getting me out of this demonship of my life.” Here we find the goddess was doing service to Mahishasur by killing him so that he could restored to the original godlike personality. Perhaps the author of the story of the Beauty and Beast in which the Beauty saw the beauty in the beast whereby her tear released him from his beastliness, may have never heard this story, yet both stories seem to have a common ground: That is a human being is trapped by demon nature (we find this as we read daily news) and need to be released from it.
The Jews of Jesus’ days saw Him as a beast or even demon. In fact his younger brethren would have put Him in the mental asylum if they have their way because the claim He made brought them to the conclusion that He had gone mad. Till His time came, the extremist Jews including the swamis or Pharisee pundits of Jewish religion tried many times to stone Him to death as if He were a mad dog. The representative of the world Roman power of that day could not make out what to do with His claim as the King. The common people saw Him as a meek lamb for His predecessor John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” (and the lamb is a beast too). So they followed Him wherever He went and listened to Him eagerly what He had to say to live a meaningful life in this beastly ruled world. The freedom fighters, in spite of all His wonderful divine miracles, saw Him as a meek donkey that would rather be beaten than beat because He refused to take up arms to fight the tyranny of Roman rule. In fact one of His disciples who must have been the underground freedom fighter, Judas Iscariot, got so impatient with Jesus that if He sold Jesus and have Him arrested may be He would not show Himself as a lamb but as a lion of Jewish race according to the Bible. So he had made Him arrested and but Jesus made no effort to resist, practicing true form of non-violence (Mahatma Gandhi must have been inspired by Him for he expressed his deep honor to Jesus in his biography). This made Judas who betrayed Him through kiss-(usually the greatest betrayers are the ones who claim to be friends and hug, whether in politics or in religion including Christianity)-became disgusted with Jesus. Judas went to depression and committed suicide. It is always suicidal to suppress innocent ones in order to push oneself up. Since Judas handled the money of the Jesus’ disciples, he thought he would be made a finance minister if Jesus became the king of Jewish nation by fighting with the Romans.
No doubt, Jesus represented the sacrificial lamb that the ancient Jewish religion practiced, which was terminated after He was crucified and the Jews do not practice anymore animal sacrifice. According to the Bible Jesus was the sacrifice of all sacrifices and His death took away the sins of not one race but the entire human race.
Jesus came because He saw beauty in human beings who have been beastly and He wanted to take away beastliness and there was no beastliness about Jesus because no one, no Jewish religious leaders nor the Roman Empire could find beastliness in Him according to the Bible. Yet they saw in Him reflection of own beastliness by treating cruelly to Him even no animal would treat.
However, there was one person who saw beauty in Him while then known world saw beast in Him. That person was the criminal who was crucified on one of His side. This criminal must have been the political freedom fighter who lost its war with the Roman government-in politics if the freedom fighter wins, no matter how much crimes he commits, he is honored as a freedom fighter and even give him the highest position in the country, but if he loses, he is dubbed as a criminal, so in my speculation this was what must happened to that criminal. While hanging on the excruciating cross the unnamed criminal looked at Jesus who too was suffering from being nailed on the cross. The Roman invented the most cruel formed of torture for which there was no word to describe, so the word has to be invented as the book The case for Christ written by the journalist Lee Strobel has mentioned, and the word was ,”Excruciating” or “out of cross.” While the entire nation of Jews and the Roman government saw Jesus suffering as the beast, the criminal cried out, “Lord, when you come into Your kingdom, please remember me.” What was that? The criminal saw the beauty of Jesus being the Lord who has done no wrong to be crucified and His second coming on this earth! The criminal must have fought for the new order of earthly political kingdom but he realize that Jesus was for the spiritual kingdom. He did not say when you go to heaven, but when you come into your kingdom. He must have heard Jesus teaching the prayer during the sermon on the mountain where Jesus taught, “Thy kingdom come.” Guess what happened? When Jesus heard at least one sinner in the entire world of that time believed and acknowledged who He was, then He was ready to die, and shortly after that He breathed His last. Commenting on the magnanimous of God’s love, my favorite author EG White said, “Jesus would have died even just for one sinner.” While He exercised no power to convert people including His own disciples to believe Him but the power of choose Him or not to choose Him was left to individual only. People who profess to call themselves Christians, if they become Christians because someone converted, they could be called the second hand Christians, while when ones become Christian through spiritual eye to eye contact with Jesus, they could be named the first hand Christians who would stay true to Jesus and follow His ideal life though the heaven fall.
June 26, 2017