"Let him by crucified! And Pilate said, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!" (Matthew 27:22-23)
"The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree."
Would "Christians" have been able to enslave, brutalize, and lynch blacks had the truth of Jesus's brown/blackness been recognized, painted, sculpted, crafted and displayed on the walls of every church, cathedral, and museum ? "
Doesn't the blacks' shared experience with Jesus as unjustly tortured, persecuted, and murdered give them a very special relationship to Jesus?
“Baby what we did with Jesus was not supposed to happen at all.
We took that cat over and made him ours.
It has nothing whatever to do with that white Jesus in Montgomery Alabama, that white church.
We did something else with him; we made him ours.
Some people say he was really always a nigger cuz baby Swedes don’t come from Israel.
You had to be fairly dark.”
– James Baldwin in an interview with Nikki Giovanni
It's a fact that Jesus was a colored man. He would not have thrived, (walked, traveled, taught, healed) in the desert without sufficient melanin, just as surely as Donald Trump would die a whole lot faster than Barack Obama if both were put out hatless, shirtless in the Negev Desert on the same day, same time.
"For too long, Christ has been pictured as a blue-eyed honky...
we need to dehonkify him
and thus make him relevant to the black condition."
James Cone "A Black Theology of Liberation"
When I went to church as a child, there was an enormous image above the altar of an elderly Caucasian man with a long, grey, flowing beard (God) moving through the sky looking down compassionately on a white man suffering on the cross with long flowing brown hair (Jesus). Was this art created by someone intending to mislead me? Probably not. It was an artist, maybe filled with enthusiasm and love, who portrayed his or her unexamined ideas, inherited from a paradigm designed to control, distort, and divide.
This ubiquitous cultural blind spot has prevented white people from praying to a dark-skinned Jesus on the cross. Meanwhile, black and brown people have not experienced the on-going dignity of a shared appearance with the "Son of Man," Jesus's most frequently used name for himself. For example, thousands of people of Mexican and Central American heritage worship at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles; images of Mother Mary, Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, et al are portrayed on the walls above them as white people. What would it do for them if the truth were shown instead?
White people also have an internalized false idea, that the biblical figures looked like them.
It is not a matter of cultural relevancy; do I mean all churches should change the image of Jesus to look like someone who could be a neighbor? Not at all. What matters is the truth.
How does truth effect our worship?
The truth IS hard, almost impossible to believe, "mind-blowing." But without consciousness of the truth, the majesty and profundity of reality is obscured.
The truth is that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality."
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Jesus said, "worship in spirit and in truth."
A grain of sand contains about 972 million quarks in motion while our solar system travels at about 550,000 mph in its orbit around the galaxy, (an orbit which takes about 220 million years).
Meanwhile, Earth orbits the sun at about 64,000 miles per hour while rotating at about 1,040.4 miles per hour.
How crazy that one out of the 50 - 500 million sperm cells in a single ejaculation initiated each of our lives. This separation from the truth allows pollution of the body, mind, and spirit and our precious unique planet; it permits a negation of the responsibility to respectfully let delicate, powerful systems do what they do without unnecessary interference.
To attempt to understand reality, is humbling humbled and takes me back to the very dawn of faith, a faith initiated by observation of the stars, the order within the universe, the recognition that behind so much order there must be a Creative Intelligence. After all, if you landed on Mars, emerged from your craft to see an intricate multi-colored mosaic on the ground to your right, wouldn't you think, "Someone's been here!"
The Messiah was predicted by Moses, by David, by the Prophets. When, in about 35 A.D. Peter and Paul were able to show the people the truth that the Messiah had been murdered as a result of their own blindness, cries for blood, defense of the status quo, they wept. The hard truth put them in immediate right relationship with God: "Forgive us!"
What if the entire United States were to realize that we had stolen, enslaved, brutalized, terrorized, dehumanized, incarcerated the obvious ancestors of the biblical figures, including Jesus? Wouldn't there be a substantial "How blind we have been!" a heart-felt singing of:
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found.
Was blind but now I see."
Remember, the composer of "Amazing Grace" was John Newton, a man who had worked in the African slave trade who had a spiritual awakening. It is estimated that as many or more blacks died in ships crossing the Atlantic during the Middle Passage and from the physical torture of slavery than died in the WW11 holocaust.
How many Christians do you know who pray to, embrace, adore, love a black Jesus? That's how many "worship in spirit and truth."
"God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
"Taking a commercial inventory is fact-finding and fact-facing process.
It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade....
We did exactly the same thing with our lives.
We took stock honestly...
Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty."
(Alcoholics Anonymous pgs. 64-65)
"When the answer is simple, God is speaking."
"I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?" - Albert Einstein (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 208)
Furthermore! How is it possible to be blind to the surviving evidence of a massively sophisticated culture, pre-existing the Greeks by thousands of years. How embarrassing to include the Great Pyramid of Giza on the revised list of 7 Wonders with the likes of a simple statue perched on a mountain. And yet the Egyptologists who raised their voices were considered fussy. To appease their legitimate outrage, the Pyramid was granted "honorary status.
"The Great Pyramid of Giza
"The accuracy of the pyramid's workmanship is such that the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimetres in length. The base is horizontal and flat to within ±15 mm (0.6 in). The sides of the square base are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points (within four minutes of arc) based on true north, not magnetic north, and the finished base was squared to a mean corner error of only 12 seconds of arc.
.... The ratio of the perimeter to height of 1760/280 royal cubits equates to 2π to an accuracy of better than 0.05% (corresponding to the well-known approximation of π as 22/7).