Jesus hangs on the cross. Unthinkable!
He was accused to be a glutton and a drunkard, because of his joy of life, a friend of tax collectors and prostitutes. No ascetic like John, who lived more badly of honey and locusts in the desert. For many of his contemporaries Jesus was – as we would say today – a punk, who took it easy. And now this! The feast is over. The young, full of life man is betrayed and sold.
What are already 30 years? So it should not have come. A human who wouldn’t even harm a fly and who feels attracted to whom, who are the dregs of society. “Being religious is something else,” so thought the establishment. And “Birds of a feather, flock together”.
But Jesus does not care about his reputation. He does not look at the bad image of a human, but he looks deeper. He knows the humans, sees their inner turmoil and their being driven by lust and money, “Listen, you are not like that at all. I see you how God sees you. Turn back from your wrong way. Just as you live you are alienated from yourself and God. No, I don’t condemn you. Do come back, God meant you very differently.“ Jesus lives with the outcasts, touches the untouchables and makes them healthy in body and soul.
Jesus, who is one of us, and yet quite different than we are. He is magnanimous, where we are small minded, he is free from himself, because God is his only drive, where we are captured, because drive and money dominate our lives. Jesus, the real human in which God becomes reality, while we have only an inkling, hardly hope, that we are actually quite different than how we live.
But the time of Jesus comes to an end. It was almost too good to be true. Jesus, a foretaste of “heaven on earth”, a moment of the “dawning kingdom of God” is obtained from the practical constraints of society. In the end, the bureaucrats of religion triumph and agitate the mob against Jesus. The mass is manipulable. First they praised the miracle worker Jesus, as he is shown to them by Pilate – no, this way no hero looks – the “Hosanna” quickly becomes to “Crucify him.” Another one is released: Barabbas, a rebel and a murderer – a real man, a winner – so one is wanted by the mob. But Jesus …
Jesus experiences all facets of human life. In Gethsemane he struggles in tears with God, abandoned by his friends, who prefer to sleep. He begs them to stay awake. But it does not help, they do not know what hour has come. They fall asleep again, while their Messiah suffers fear of death. How bitter. His friends leave him alone.
After the tortures of arrest and questioning, he carries the bar of his cross to the place of execution – spat upon, mocked, betrayed and sold. How lonely can a human be?
There is nothing in him anymore, not a glimmer of hope, no faith. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even God who means everything to Jesus, seems to have turned away from him. Why God? Why don’t you act? Why don’t you send your angels and take this one human, your son, from the cross? But Jesus does not get any extra treatment. He must taste the bitterness of life to the end. Being afraid, feeling abandoned by God, crying, losing his face, suffer. There on the cross. A human who is at the end. For has he all forgotten what he had preached? If even his faith is dying down? They don’t understand him. They kill him.