While laying on the table at the Chiropractor, 6th visit in the past 3 weeks, I was thinking how we have ethnically, culturally and humanly cleansed the gospels. I know you’re thinking, here we go again some more crazy off the wall musing by me. Hear me out.
We’ve created these sterile images, of some of the most profound and shocking stories in the gospels.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the idea a “ Disabled God.” Yes, mind boggling.
We’ve read the story of Jesus death in the Bible likely numerous times, maybe even seen Mel Gibson’s “ the Passion of Christ.” Gibson may have twisted and contorted the story to portray his theological mindset, but, the reality of Jesus suffering, and death was likely as horrifying as it was viewed in the movie.
It’s after his death, that captures my imagination...when Jesus appears to the disciples. we have this default image of Jesus looking like he normally did, as “white, flowing blond hair, nicely cropped goatee...and a hospital clean robe...hole in hands.”
But the reality, he was beaten to a pulp, sledge hammered with nails driven into limbs and severe abdominal would to the side. I work in an emergency department at a local hospital...we would classify this as a trauma victim. This hobbling, bruised, covered in blood victim would have been what appeared before his followers.
At the resurrection, this band of confused misfits understood the humanity of Jesus for who he really was. It’s only through this lens they could understand and come to terms with Jesus life on earth.
In this resuscitated Jesus, they saw not the sacrificial lamb who was tortured and slaughtered to appease his crazy father whose only concern was sin...but a disabled God with impaired hands and feet, and a gaping abdominal wound.
It was only in this profound image could they understand...and see the true image of God. It is profoundly disturbing to think of a handicapped, disabled God.
I look back to the many years I did go to church...there were very few handicapped people in the midst of these communities. Why...was it the perceived image they presented...where healing prayer didn’t work. It disturbs me.
Also, a perfectly healed and whole God maybe relieves us of responsibility. Jesus lived in the midst of this disabled world. Sure there are stories of those he healed but there must be thousands more he didn’t...merely passed by. His life makes us acutely aware...he was drawn to their suffering. He suffered as one...to show the real “ Imagio Dei “...the image God.
What you do for the least of these...you do for me. Profoundly, it does kind of sound like a disabled God who needs our help.
The next time you see a handicapped person...pause, and think this is profoundly the most beautiful and redemptive image of God...a disabled God. But, more than that... how does this image move you to live your life.
Yes...I to am shocked by what I wrote, but. I really need to wrestle with this image.