The Romans got him, and he asked God why he’d been forsaken. Which seems to imply that he really didn’t see his death coming. And then rose three days later and… what? You don’t get to see much of the resurrected Jesus. He doesn’t seem to have stuck around terribly long. The whole thing just feels like a “hook,” you know? A retcon. He was either supposed to not die, or the world was supposed to end, but that’s not what happened. So instead, he did in fact see the whole thing coming; we will explain away the Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabacthani as having some meaning that’s the opposite of the obvious. This was the plan all along, see. And then Christ returned, kind of did nothing, just tipped off his cronies that he was back, basically, and disappeared. And we’re left not with a story of the resurrected and supernatural Christ powerfully changing the world but a ghost pretty much hanging on words from when he was naturally alive. What was the point?
It’s because you need that hook to make people read the rest of the story. Like a movie that starts with the cops walking in on a body and then cuts to THREE DAYS EARLIER. And it’s a shame that you need it, because the magical bullshit clouds the actual teachings of Christ, which contain some of the best wisdom ever written down. Not the God stuff, not the end of the world is coming stuff, but the actual bits on how to live and relate to other human beings. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. It is easier for to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. What is that one really about? At first you think: well, rich people are assholes. But then: it seems like the more money you chase, the more joy you lose. The more humanity you lose. Let’s have some compassion for these poor fuckers who burned out their souls chasing shit. Could be read either way and either way is true as fuck. Consider the lilies of the field. Even the tax collectors love their friends; love your enemy as yourself. You ever tried doing this? Thinking of someone you think fucked you over. Someone you hate. Saying to the picture of this person in your mind: I know you are just a human being, and I forgive you,and maybe you were only being that way because I was being a jerkoff. It’s liberating. You get rid of the pain you’re carrying around when you love someone, forgive someone.
Not only the substance of his points but his rhetorical style– layered, persuasive, colossally entertaining. Parables– there is not a human being alive who can argue against a parable. Once your opponent sets the stage with a metaphor you are forced to argue within the metaphor or lose your audience. Let me tell you a story about a farmer who allowed a wanton ox to wander into his crops, while a crafty fox was blah blah blah… hearing this, you HAVE to stage your counterarguments in terms of a farmer, an ox, and a fox. Or you gotta fire back with an even more streamlined metaphor of your own, and good luck with that. Like engaging Jonah Falcon in a dick measuring contest.
Anyway– there is no God, but Jesus Christ was possibly the greatest human being who ever lived. The reason the Bible stuck around so long is because there is real wisdom in it. More wisdom than any other book. It’s too bad it had to be cloaked in this bogus ghost story, but then– maybe that was the biggest parable of all. Once there was a son of God on Earth and when he came to tell the truth they killed him. By the way, here’s what he said. Pass it on. No man ever knew it better: you gotta have a hook.