“Like a tragedy, [the life and crucifixion of Jesus] stirs up pity and terror in us.
Like a tragedy it requires us to contemplate the world’s darkness.
Like a tragedy, it draws attention to waste.
It shows us a life that need not have been extinguished being extinguished, without particular malice, by the normal processes of the world.
It shows us that accident, injustice, spoilage, are all standard, all in the pitiably usual course of things. Here it’s important that Jesus’s death was an obscure one, when it happened. He’s not an Oedipus or a Prince Hamlet, someone falling from greatness.
His death belongs beside the early cutting-short of the millions of lives of people too poor or too unimportant ever to have been recorded in the misleading story we call history; people only mourned by others as brief as themselves, and therefore gone from human memory as if they had never been.
Jesus dies like a migrant worker who suffocates in a freight container, like a garbage-picker caught in a slide, like a child with an infected finger, like a beggar the bus reverses over, or a father, husband, friend, murdered, shot dead with his baby girl on the streets of Plymouth.
Continue reading “Terror Darkness Waste Murder”