The once revolutionary Jesus has become a peaceful, nice, Caucasian friend. Does anyone wonder why he was murdered on a cross? To many church goers the cross represents hope, resurrection, etc. But what did it mean in Jesus' time - and isn't this more important?
The cross was the method of killing, especially among others, insurrectionists. Even the "bandits" on each of Jesus' sides were also insurrectionists - though translators and the church have mistranslated/preached "theives". This is easy to ignore. But to think that Jesus died as "The King Of The Jews" - which was not a sarcastic label - is threatening to the status quo. And as throughout most of history, the church has established, sanctioned and protected the status quo. Of course this includes invadiing countries, killing/poisoning the natives, destroying cult-u-r-es, repressing/raping women...
To establish oneself as Messiah was threatening - blasphemy - to the Roman occupiers and the Jewish elite. It was a brave and deadly political move. Any challenge to the propped-up high priest or the Roman authorities was swiftly deal with with execution.
What has happened to the story of this revolutionary peasant named Jesus. If he was a carpenter - only mentioned once in New Testament - that meant he was "scum". He was just above the lowest of the low. Where are these people now? The church preaches against revolutionaries and the poor [prostitutes, druggies, ....]. The church needs to revolt against a society that murders, imprisons revolutionaries - those fighting for social justice, environmental justice, women's rights....those oppressed by the "status quo".
Churches tell people "invite Jesus into your heart and you will go to heaven..." - a "nice", sell-able message. A neat package. A lie. Jesus said "repent and believe". That means CHANGE. What kind of change? "Go and sell all your possession and give to the poor....then you will enter the kingdom of God". That is revolutionary, and hard to "sell". I want a Jesus I can fit into my pocket.
He remembers the flowers and the birds...may we repent and stop raping His land: