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The Paschal mystery

Although I see myself as a Christian, I am skeptical about the Easter myth where Jesus was tortured to death, put into a tomb and on the third day came to life again, and after having rolled a large stone barricading the tomb aside, walked away. I believe in another explanation that does not make Jesus’ power and message weaker, rather the contrary.

My understanding of the Paschal mystery goes like this:  Jesus was killed as a result of the tense atmosphere that prevailed in Jerusalem while the city was occupied . He died because the citizens believed that people who might be a threat to the social order must be removed and punished. Just as the prevailing attitude in today’s society.

To perceive Jesus as the sacrificial lamb for our sins makes me really sad. I believe in a God who understands and embraces me no matter what I have done, which is the nature of the God of my belief, regardless of Jesus’ crucifixion. I also believe that I am part of a human community where I must face the consequences of my actions.

The Resurrection 2013

I believe that a citizen of the former Jerusalem wanted Jesus to be buried at a place where his life could be honored and celebrated, and he sent for him and buried him in his own garden. That’s why the women found the tomb to be empty. Meanwhile, those who wanted to make Jesus a God invented his resurrection.

I believe in an immortal soul and an array of lives for each of us, leading towards enlightenment. Jesus was a pioneering figure for all of us, a big brother, an enlightened man, someone who knew the path. But also a man who had to submit to the physical laws in the world to incarnate, just like us. Who was born, lived and died.

As a metaphor the story works better. Who haven’t found themselves living like a dead through periods of their life? Where the quest for recognition, status or acceptance dulls our senses and makes us numb to each other, to the suffering in the world and the consequences of our lifestyle? So among other things, we start believing that gang crime must be fought with the removal and punishment of the front figures.

Jesus and gang conflict

Jesus’ great contribution was not his crucifixion, but his teachings. I think sometimes that he directed his words towards us in 2013. Not until now have most of us gained a level of maturity where we are able to hear the message. In the Sermon on the Mount he says that it is not enough to comply with the law (the law of Moses, the 10 Commandments), but that it is our intention that is important. The intention to love our neighbor as ourselves, to turn the other cheek und zo weiter.

I see the world through Nonviolent Communication lens. Our focus is the intention we bear in our hearts as well as the intention of  our counterpart when we communicate, and we strive to dissolve all desire in ourselves to exercise violence, so we do not succumb to punish those who have sinned against us or others.

Power is something we only want to use to protect ourselves and others from harm etc., not to punish. We know that the perpetrator in the moment of the crime is neither bad nor wrong, but because of tragic reasons can not find other ways to meet his/ her needs. Our task is then to help the person to restore dignity and responsibility through empathy and confrontation with the consequences of his / her actions.

From distant to close

I feel sad when thinking of how distanced I am and many of my fellow citizens are. We categorize and judge the others (and ourselves), and many of us hang out with almost nobody who is different from ourselves. My Easter wish for me and all of us is that we move a bit closer to those we do not know and dare to ask two questions: “What is driving you?” and “Would you like to hear what your actions do to me?”

Not because it magnifies our productivity, impacts the Pisa study or increase the private consumption. But because it awakens us to life as living human beings connected to each other. As Howard Thurman puts it: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

My interpretation of the Paschal Mystery is borrowed from the book Towards the Light!. Read about it here.

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