By Raoul Suarez

During the Holy Week festivities, most of us would go about and celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We stay in our homes or do treks, and reflect on how a God became a man in order to save us all from eternal damnation due to the wages of sin. We wonder why such love was given to us even if we all do not deserve it. Most of us grew up in a home where we are taught about the nature of his divinity and not the nature of his humanity.

If we really come to think about it, Jesus was a revolutionary. He had a cause, he challenged the norms, he defied convention, and he wanted change. He bashed the elitists. He despised hypocrisy. He condoned racism. He abhorred bureaucracy and idealism. He preached equality.  He advocated practicality. He practiced simplicity in every aspect of his life. He was a very radical figure back in the day. He was the enemy of the traditionalists during his time; and they were the majority.

While everyone else ran things the way they knew how and believed in age-old traditions, here comes this carpenter’s boy claiming greatness, telling people to repent, performing miracles, healing the sick, feeding the multitudes, promising paradise to criminals, and dining with a bunch of fishermen, prostitutes, thieves and tax collectors. Yes, there he was preaching something new. Something we have never heard before. His preaching is the good news now in this time and age but he was bad news to some people back then.

If you were Jewish and were born during his time, it would have been difficult to believe the son of a lowly carpenter if he told you he was the son of God, the Messiah, the fulfillment of the prophecies, and a ruler descended from kings of old. It would have been ridiculous because for centuries you have been taught about the concept of Monotheism which has been passed on from generation to generation. Your faith and your conviction would have been challenged by this revelation.

He was straightforward and very brutally honest. He would have blown your mind, left you flabbergasted, and made very inch of you tremble with rage. You would have said he blasphemed and punched him in the face. You would have wanted to stone him for saying that he can forgive your sins. You would have gotten mad at that lady for wasting expensive perfume just to wash his calloused feet. You would have wanted to kick him repeatedly while he was down when he told you to stop praying in the streets just to show off and get a room where you can talk to God privately. When he told you that pork cannot defile you because it’s the words that come out of your mouth that do and not the food you ingest, or when he drove you and your merchandise away from the temple with accusations that you are defiling his father’s house, you would have beaten him to a pulp, spit on him, whipped his back, and crowned him with thorns. You would have shouted along with the crowd to have him crucified. They did all that back in the old days. You would have done the same. You would have chosen that criminal to be freed just so you can see him writhe in agony while he is nailed to that cross.

The thing about revolutionaries is that they remain true to their cause. They dedicate their lives to such. They are willing to die for it and even death will not bend their will. Just like all revolutionaries, he died too. Tried unjustly. Killed to end his stint before it blows into mythic proportions. His life was sacrificed to further his cause. He paid the price for ushering in change. The untimely death did not stop the spread of his cause and his advocacy. It ballooned. It prospered. The only difference between Jesus and the revolutionary in the textbook is that he was able to come back from the dead while the others remained in their graves. There was no resurrection that happened to the other revolutionary figures who have also left quite a mark in history by starting a movement that eventually had a great number of followers that helped to further the cause in order to change existent belief systems.

In our little festivities, we kill him every year. We stay in our homes and reflect, believing that at this point of time he is dead and we wait for Easter Sunday for his resurrection. We are wrong. He has already risen. He lives forevermore. He is waiting for criminals, hypocrites, tax collectors, thieves, and prostitutes like you and me to ask him nicely if we too can enter paradise so he can open the door.