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Dec 2009

Ayad Gharbawi

October 28 2009 - Damascus

What were the last thoughts of Jesus Christ as he was crucified?
Did he not doubt God when he uttered those famous words: “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”
It sounds plain and clear: the cry of a tortured human being who is asking why has his God, or Father, left him to suffer in this unimaginably excruciatingly painful manner?
Why didn’t God save him from this hour’s long torture?
Did Jesus forget his Mission?
Momentarily, yes he did, for he was after all, human.
Who wouldn’t in such circumstances?
The sheer agony of his throbbing torment must have clouded his mind and in effect forced him to momentarily question what the point was in his suffering.
Now, it seems that he did recover his certainty, for the  last words uttered by Jesus on earth were: “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
In other words I trust in thee, I trust the words of My Father, God.
Interestingly enough, notice that when those unnamed bandits spoke to Jesus saying: “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself, and us.” while the second bandit said: “Jesus remember me when you come to your throne.” Jesus did not reply to the first bandit. He did not say to him that he can or that he cannot ‘save’ him or save himself from the crucifixion – he chose only to answer the second bandit by saying: “I tell you this: today you shall be with me in Paradise.”
In other words, Jesus felt that perhaps there was no more time left to explain yet again, as to why he did not ‘save’ himself and the bandit from this torture: that it was God’s will for this truth and this scene to be so enacted out in the end.
Or perhaps Jesus thought what was the point in repeating what he had already spoken a thousand times before?
Jesus did forgive those who plotted to butcher him in such a dramatically lethal manner, for a man who not only did not commit one crime, but who was the essence of justice, peace, humanity and love.
What emotional and profound mental power he needed to create in his mind the feeling of ‘forgiveness’ unto those who are in the very act of slaughtering you!
It is, once more, simply unimaginable to our everyday human brains to comprehend how any mind can produce such a feeling in these awful circumstances.
And yet, I think, there must have been within the welter of thoughts of Jesus, a feeling that it must be good to finally die, for his life had been nothing but an anguished existence.
I say this, for didn’t Jesus finally refuse to talk or respond anymore to the hypocrisy and evil of society when he refused to engage in any dialogue with Pilate? The latter asked him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” to which Jesus replied: “The words are yours.”
All Jesus had to do was to deny the accusation that he had been preaching to people proclaiming himself to be the ‘King of the Jews’. Instead, Jesus refused to deny or confirm this accusation that could well have spared him his very life.
Why did he refuse to deny the pathetic accusation?
I feel that Jesus wanted to end his Mission – as God had so wished - then and there and that is why he no longer bothered to interact with Pilate or anyone else for that matter.
This is an important theme: for there comes a moment in time when Jesus felt that enough of the oppression; enough of the hypocrisy, lies, deceptions and that he had enough of the sheer vile, evil of Man and human beings and Mankind and all of the so-called ‘Humanity’.
He had reached a sublime moment in his mind, in his existence on this lowly earth when he no longer cared for this dreadful life and when he finally yearned to return to Paradise as he did promise the second bandit.
There was no need to preach the Good Word anymore. There was no need for his majestic presence. There was no need for any more of his acts of love and compassion to the poor, the sick, the blind, the crippled, the sad, the mentally sick and to all the rest of humanity.
What an overpowering, intensely painful moment that must have been when Jesus felt that his presence was no longer necessary!
Indeed, such thoughts are utterly painful for any person. It is the most overwhelming type of Farewell that anyone can do: in our humble language and life, we can translate it as when a person finally decides to withdraw from public life.
Pilate insisted that there was no reason whatsoever for Jesus to be crucified, and ultimately murdered.
But the crowds, maddened by their rage, insisted again and again with their demand that this utterly noble soul be tortured and killed.
Pilate squirmed with a way to release Jesus unharmed.
Finally, he thought he could succeed by appeasing the mob:
“Why, what has he done? I have not found him guilty of any capital offence. I will therefore let him off with a flogging.”
And of course they refused this suggestion!
“Crucify him! Crucify him!” they screamed.
And throughout this sorrowful scenery, Jesus stood there, quiet and refusing to utter one word in his defence.
For me, the momentous time had arrived quite clearly.
It was time for Jesus to deliver his spirit back unto God and yes he would willingly offer his body like the proverbial lamb to the slaughterhouse.
Actually lambs, cows and sheep do not get tortured for hours on a crucifix as they are slaughtered.
For, in truth, the butchering of Jesus was far worse than for any animal.
And so, as Jesus must surely have gazed at the panorama in front of him at Golgotha, or the ‘Place of a Skull’ and thought that there before him lay what was called ‘Humanity’, those that he was sent to ‘save’ from their sickening sins, perhaps he thought: For them I have suffered throughout by life. For the likes of these people I must die a most horrible death.
So I was sent to heal these people who have mocked me, humiliated me, flogged me, ****** me, and ultimately I am before people who have deliberately acted to butcher my flesh and my soul.
I was sent to heal those who were my disciples and who so did betray me with the ultimate act of love and tenderness – the kiss.
I was sent to heal those who were my disciples and who so easily denied me.
I was sent to heal humanity – a humanity that did not even turn up at my death, except for a handful few before my feet.
So much for you humanity.
Do not weep for me, for you – you people out there who did not stand up for me and who denied me and who did not even come to the final act of my death – it is you who shall now weep and suffer within the rest of your lives.
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; no, weep for yourselves and your children.”
Is this then what Humanity is?
Written by
Ayad Gharbawi
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