Hey Jude…you ever wondered what it’s like, growing up as a kid, knowing your father is God and you’re going to have to die horribly at thirty-two?
Sure, Jeez, it must be rough. Although…kids with cancer, that kind of thing, they know they won’t live long, but at least they get to be born, right. That’s something, isn’t it?
I don’t know. Thing is, I’m not just going to die in my sleep. I’m going to die a slow painful death, nailed up like a criminal. And for what?
To save mankind!
Well, ok but can’t I just die of a heart attack?
No, well, it’s just not the same, is it. Imagine the priest belting out ‘God gave his Only Son to die of a heart attack so we could have eternal life!’ Mere death doesn’t cut it. Anyway, Jeez, You’re supposed to die willingly and on purpose. If a brick fell on Your head from a building site, that would be an accident, not a sacrifice! You should feel good about all this, really. Because of You taking time out of Your week to be crucified, we all get rescued from the consequences of original sin. Don’t think we don’t appreciate that, mate.
Yeah, don’t mention it mate…but you know, I’ve sometimes wondered why Dad couldn’t just forgive you lot anyway. If He wanted to. Why does he have to give his Only Son, like there’s a price on forgiveness? I mean, nobody can tell Dad what He can and can’t do, right?
Yeah, nah, that’s the rule mate.
But Dad makes the rules. He’s God. Are you saying God has limits? Are you saying He created this universe with rules even He can’t break?
That’s right. And the rule is, if you want something from God, you have to give Him something in return. That’s always been the rule, ever since they invented…I mean, ever since the year dot. Only this time, God is actually giving Himself the sacrifice. He’s giving us his Only Son, so we can sacrifice Him – like basically, give Him back – and in return He can give us everlasting life. I think that’s pretty bloody considerate, don’t you? After all, He could have got us to crucify a normal bloke – say, Joshua over there, or -God forbid! – me. Or if that wasn’t enough to cover everyone’s sins, He could’ve ordered us to kill all our firstborn babies, or something like that. At least we’d get to sleep at night. But no, He created You, and then gave YOU to us to sacrifice.
Yeah. So He’s basically sacrificing Me, His son, to appease Himself, so He can forgive all of you.
Well, you don’t get something for nothing.
So what does Dad get out of it? You get forgiven, what does He get?
Well basically he adores mankind, really, so he wants us up in Heaven with him instead of down There with the Evil One.
Right. It seems to Me that He loves you lot more than He loves Me. I don’t know how I feel about that…
Oh, don’t be like that, Jeez. After you’ve done being crucified, You’ll be up there with Him too. It’s only temporary. You only get to be dead three days, nothing to whinge about.
If it’s only three days, why do I have be dead at all? Why can’t He just..oh bother it. What if I say no? What if I run away to, I don’t know, Syria and get married to Mary Magdalene and give up this whole Son of God thing?”
“Not an option mate. Greater love hath no man and all that, but I’m not spending eternity in Hell for anyone.”
But…but…hang on, why are you kissing Me?
It gets weirder: Jesus is co-eternal with God (in fact is God, along with the Holy Spirit), so God is sacrificing himself to himself in order to persuade himself to forgive people. Like buying yourself a Christmas present, wrapping it and giving it to yourself on Christmas morning while making surprised and pleased noises.
But that’s what I do every christm….oh, I see what you mean!
Growing up did you get punished a lot for asking the right questions in class?
No, because we didn’t have bible class. But my mum got sent off by the nuns to get a talking to from the priest, when she did same at her Catholic school.