It occurs to me that with every Lent come and gone, I have the same number of questions about Jesus and the resurrection. It goes beyond that, actually—to basic questions of faith. Why at Lent? Well, things get pretty intense when you start talking about the death of God’s only son. In an effort to stave off frustration and confusion, then, I think it would do Christians a great service to start this whole Lent-Easter business with a press conference. You know, to clear some things up.
In preparation for that eventuality, I have put together a few questions I would ask Yeshuah bar Joseph, assuming the Lord’s attention isn’t hogged by that incorrigible Helen Thomas. Here’s a start:
Thank you, Mr. Lord…
* Did you have a talk with Dad about what your fate would be? Was the Holy Spirit in on it? Who decided on crucifixion?
* We know about the Gethsemane prayer—asking for the cup to pass and all—but that makes us wonder: how much of this “God’s son” business have you known since the beginning? Did you figure it out as you went along?
* “All God and all man save sin,” huh? That must mean that you’ve flubbed on a few things. Can you give us some humorous examples of mistakes you’ve made, just so we all feel better about ourselves?
* Seriously, though, how good were you at carpentry? I made a bowl once. It was pretty sweet.
* What was going through your head when Pilate was questioning you? Did you have to suppress nasty thoughts? What about Caiaphas?
* I think we’ve all tried to imagine what crucifixion was really like. Did you feel closer to God on the cross or before they hung you up there?
* Did you get personal satisfaction out of doing God’s will, or was it, like, just what you did?
* You knew about Judas the whole time, didn’t you?
* What was your favorite meal as a kid? Did Mary make some really bomb meals?
* Everybody needs a good friend, right? So, who was the first person you went to when you were down? And don’t say you went alone up into a mountain to meditate and were totally fine with it.
* To what extent did God—who, I imagine, feels no pain—really mourn the loss of a son who God knew was going to be resurrected anyway? And if God didn’t feel any pain, then this whole crucifixion thing was no skin off his back, right?
* Ok, I get that your birth, life, and death were for us, but if that’s true, why speak in parables? Let me put it this way: if you had to recast the parables in 2014 on Twitter, what 140 characters would you use?
* It’s hard having an absent father. Tell us about that.
* These days, we have better sandals for hiking and missionary work. Do you think you’d be more of a Birkenstock guy or Kenneth Cole? Skechers perhaps?
* Last one—for now: Mary gets a lot of attention these days but Joseph, not so much. Was he not as into the whole “son of God” thing? I kinda feel for the guy. Not easy being the surrogate father of Christ.
Let’s revisit some of these on the other end of the resurrection, shall we? In the meantime, keep your head down. Religious leaders are set to crucify you any day now…