This Christmas, I learned a lot about Jesus – the man, not the son of God, not the King of Jews. It was fascinating to traverse through the historical period of Jesus’s life – Roughly from 4 BC to 30 AD with ‘Killing Jesus’ – A history by Bill O’Reilly’ and Martin Dugard.
First things first, I knew nothing about Jesus when I began reading the book, and I don’t assume I know everything about Jesus after reading the book. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, and one book doesn’t make anyone an expert. I’m no expert, but definitely captivated by the man who has been living for over two thousand years in the hearts of millions of people all over the world.
I knew only one thing about Jesus, that he was killed, that he was crucified. Most of the events in the last few days of Jesus’s life happen at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem– the second Temple of Jews that was destroyed by the Romans a few decades after Jesus’s crucifixion. A part of the Temple Mount called Western wall still remains in the current Jerusalem.
Intricate political and economic oppressions have led to several rebellions in different parts of the world – the most recent one being the Egyptian pink revolution. The reason for Jesus’s rebellion against the oppressors of his time was no different from any other modern rebellion –it was one man’s crusade for his people against political and economic suppression. Thousands were crucified by Romans to keep people from rebelling against the all-powerful Roman Empire. Everyone wanted an alternative to the high priests of Judaism and the all-conquering Roman Empire. There were several rebels, there were several leaders, but he stood out with his messages- and his messages still stand out.
Jesus gave - an inspirational figure, a charismatic orator - them alternative to the atrocities of the period. He gave hope for a life after suffering in what he called the Kingdom of God- a novel message at that time. He asked them to suffer through difficulties, to endure and reach his Kingdom. One can even assume he was instigating a rebellion and was literally talking about a kingdom ruled by him instead of philosophical life in heaven after life.
Jesus was definitely charming - he became a champion of the masses not only because of his ideologies, but the efforts of the gospel writers who wanted a head figure to fuel the hope of a new world. Believer or non-believer, you cannot ignore Jesus, no matter what. These facts might matter very little when it comes to matters of faith. For matters of faith, there is no reasoning. Isn’t that why it is called faith? Faith, after all, can be very liberating.