There's a recent piece concerning something I myself have been thinking about lately by the imonk. (Do I ever reference any other bloggers?) It concerns "the abbreviated Jesus," or the Jesus that has major parts of him excised and sanitized for the ease and comfort of the audience. There is a suspicion sneaking about that this abbreviated Jesus is what the majority of Christians refer to when they speak his name. I wonder if this edited messiah is not the reason American church culture is suffering severe anemia and impotence, is "overfed and undernourished." I have brainstormed a quick list of somethings that get "edited out" of Jesus; maybe you can think of some too-- vital parts of the real Jesus that don't make the cut in our current paradigm, thus strangling the faith that expresses itself in love.
He is more interested in what he did than in what we are doing.
He is more interested in being revealed through us than giving us things.
He commended those who would be persecuted, even killed, in his name.
He was not under the illusion that he would never die.
He was not under the illusion that his death was something he should avoid or postpone.
He said that his kingdom was otherworldly.
So otherworldly that even he couldn't just say what it was. Parables were the best way.
He said "Woe to the rich," and explained how difficult it was for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
"Repent" was a major theme of his ministry.
He easily and willingly exposed people's sin to them.
He was completely unafraid of other people's opinions about him.
He was not out looking for an especially talented group to be his mediators for the sheep. He was the mediator.
No one took his life from him, he gave it up willingly.
He's not satisfied to be part of the solution.
At least 4 of these things have to do with death.