Friday, April 2, 2010
The Greatest As I Recall Ever Told
In honor of this Lenten season, I am going to attempt something that I was unsure I’d do: tell the Easter Story as I remember it.
Reasons why this terrifies me
1) Making jokes about the time surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus
2) Lightning striking me dead because of #1.
3) You all deciding I’ve gone too far and leaving me for bloggers who don’t mock your Lord and Savior.
I’m not sure which I’m more scared of, 2 or 3.
No, that’s a lie. It’s 3.
Welp...here I go anyway. We open on Palm Sunday (That would be this last Sunday) By this time, everyone knows who Jesus is. He's been performing miracles all up in everyone's biz (but we'll save those stories for other posts). So people are pretty happy with the guy, what with the healing and the raising from the dead, and the turning water into alcoholic beverages. He's got his posse and he rides into town (Which town? Don't remember. Nazareth. Bethlehem. Judea. Pick one.) on a donkey, and everyone waves palm branches and lays them in front of the donkey. I guess it's softer on the hooves. And they're all shouting "Huzzah! Hooray! Callooh Callay! Hosanna!" and yelling how he is the King of Kings.
Well, apparently when some dude in sandals is riding a donkey and not a horse or camel or saber tooth tiger or something majestic like that, he looks kind of like a crazy person who wants to overthrow the government. Might have something to do with people calling him a king, and it probably didn't help earlier when he yelled at all the priests that they're a bunch of assholes.
So basically everyone in a position of power hates this Jesus fellow. Especially the head priests, because Jesus is trying to knock them off their pedestals. So they start plotting. They manage to grab the attention of Judas, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, with their shiny clinky moneys. They offer him a bunch of money in exchange for the betrayal of Jesus.
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNN.
Now we're at Thursday, ie yesterday in our celebratory timeline. Jesus is overseeing the traditional Passover meal with his disciples, which celebrates Moses bringing the Hebrews out of slavery. And he gets all emo and is like "Guys...I have bad news. I am going to die soon. And one of you will betray me." and then he takes a picture of himself at a dramatic angle for his MySpace profile. There is a whole uproar which is what DaVinci's Last Supper tries to capture. They try to get Jesus to spill the beans about who it's going to be, but Jesus won't tell them, he just gives meaningful darting glances toward Judas, who sits there shuffling his gold coins.
So Jesus puts a spin on the Passover meal, which is where the tradition of Communion comes from. Jesus gets all metaphorical (or is it simile-ical?) And breaks some matzah and he's like "this is my body. When you eat it, remember me." which is a little *ew* if you think about it, but he's not even done yet. He pours wine for everyone and he says "this is my blood. When you drink it, remember me." COME ON, MAN. First you make wine awesome by making it appear from basically nowhere, and then you have to wreck it with your blood-speak. Switching to white. Switching to white.
Now after the meal, Jesus brings a couple of his fav disciples with him to go pray on Mount Olive, the most delicious of the Mounts. But it's like the middle of the night, and these guys are probably a little tipsy from all the Jesus blood, so when Jesus goes to pray to God and beg him to change his mind about the whole dying thing, the disciples fall asleep. Jesus comes back and is like, "Double-u tee eff, guys?! You're supposed to stand guard! Now, because you were asleep, God didn't hear my prayer or something that makes more sense than that! DO OVER!!"
Jesus tries again to pray. Everyone falls asleep. So he's gotta go back and pray AGAIN. Finally the prayer makes it all the way to God's ears, but when Jesus comes back, there's all these guards and pharisees (priests) hanging around. Peter yells, "JESUS, RUUUUUUNNNN!!" So Jesus jumps in the nearest taxi and just yells, "HIT IT" and of course the taxi takes off without question, running into fruit vendors and women with strollers, through alleys and around construction sites....it's crazy, man. Crazy.
No? Not buying it? *Sigh* Fiiiiine. It actually goes that Judas comes up to Jesus and kisses him on the cheek, which is like, so gay. It's also the secret code for "this is the dude you want" and they arrest him and take him to Bible prison.
Now it's Friday, aka today. Good Friday. aka BAD Friday. Jesus is being interrogated by all kinds of people. It's very Law & Order (Ooh, can you imagine Elliot interrogating Jesus?? He'd be all "It's cool man, I know how it is to want to walk on water. It's not your fault, man." And then Jesus would be like "Bring the little children to me." And Elliot would be all, "WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT MY DAUGHTER?! I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN MYSELF DURING MY FREE TIME!!!!!")
Anyway...what the hell was I talking about? Oh right so they're asking Jesus if he really thinks he's the Messiah and he's giving these non-committal answers like "If you say so, man..." and they're getting seriously frustrated by it.
Somehow it goes from simple interrogating to accusations and eventually the Head Guy (I don't know his technical title. We'll call him the Chief of Police,) Pontius Pilote gets involed. Pilote's a nice guy. He sees that Jesus is harmless. BUT, like any good politician, he is much more concerned about what other people think and decides to just do what people tell him. Because remember all those people praising Jesus a week before? Well, they've totally turned on him and are outside the window yelling, "BOO! JESUS SUCKS! HE CURED ME OF MY AWESOME LEPROSY!!"
Finally Pilate walks out to the balcony and he's like, "Do you SERIOUSLY want this guy dead?"
And everyone's yelling "TOTALLY!! HE TURNED ME INTO A NEWT! (A newt?!) (I got better.)"
So Pilate comes up with a genius way to keep Jesus alive. He responds, "We don't have enough whips for all the bad guys in our dungeons. So if we kill Jesus, we have to let another guy go. Looks like next on the list is Barabbas, the known murderer and overall terrible person."
And the crowd's like "THAT'S FINE! GIVE US BARABBAS! WE ARE IRRATIONALLY MAD AT JESUS FOR NO REASON! CRUCIFY HIM!!"
So Pilate has no choice. EXCEPT HE DOES, but whatever. Apparently, he has no choice. And he condemns Jesus to his death. During all this, Jesus is just sighing and listening and being peaceful. It would be weird if he turned into the guy from Hook that's like "The what?! The Boo Box! NOOOOOO!" But he's not like that at all. He is very calm.
SPECIAL SIDE NOTE: Did you know that the Boo Box guy is actually Glenn Close?
Yep, that just happened to your brain.
Here's where things get extremely not funny and graphic, just to warn you. They force Jesus to carry his cross from some place to where they're going to hang him. (Hence the phrase, "that's my cross to bear"...just making sure you're keeping up with me, here.) They also put a crown of thorns on his head to mock him for thinking he was the king of anything. No thorn scepter, though. They also whip him the whole time he's walking. Which is like holy crap, how could anyone handle all these horrible things at once? Well, he can't. So they give the cross to some poor schmo who just thought he was coming out to watch a good ol' fashioned crucifixion. So eventually they get to the hill, and Jesus is nailed to the cross with two other criminals. There's also an incident with a sword in his side, and when he asks for water, they give him a sponge of vinegar. And that's why we dye eggs using vinegar!! JK, that's a lie. We use vinegar because that's what Paas tells us to do.
Jesus is up there and it blows and women are wailing and it's horrible and eventually he dies. So they take him down and embalm him (whatever that is...I'm too scared to wikipedia it) and they bury him in the traditional way: in a tomb. I don't know how many tombs there are in historic middle eastern times, but you'd think there's just a bajillion of them. So that ends the scene on Good Friday. Bleak.
Saturday is the buffer day. People are mourning. Disciples are in hiding because they're scared they're next.
Then Sunday comes along, and Mary (not Jesus' mom, but one of the other ones...they were all named Mary so who the hell knows which one it was?) goes to Jesus' tomb to like...I don't know, put perfume on him or something. But when she gets there, the door to the tomb has been rolled away and there's an angel or two standing there. Mary starts shaking and kneeling and being terrified (I guess angels are the scariest thing ever. They are not sassy black women and lovable Irish beauties.) But the angel tells her that Jesus has risen, and to start spreading the news. So she sprints over to the disciples, who come a-running. And when they get there, Jesus has replaced the angel(s) and is standing with all kinds of majesty and wonder.
The disciples are overjoyed and high fiving all over the place. Eventually Jesus peaces out and floats up to heaven a la Olivia Newton John and John Travolta at the end of Grease, and voila. Christianity was born. And thank God it was, because once Jesus came to spread his message of peace and love, there was no more greed or lies or hatred or judging or using religion to your own personal advantage.
HE IS RISEN!!
He is risen indeed.
(Thanks for reading, guys. I love you all. And if you love me back, consider voting this blog for Best Religion and Humor Blog over there on the right. I swear they do not spam you or send you emails after you sign up. Have a good Passover/Easter/Weekend everyone!)