“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

The man who would be king

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Christianity | 4 comments

Taking part in the Stations of the Cross is always a moving and powerful experience. I first attended one 6 years ago, before I bent the knee, when I was still living in the US. At that time, I was going through a severe personal crisis, and derived a lot of comfort from the Mass, but I did not believe – I simply held a warmly friendly but standoffish relationship with the Christian faith.

The fact that I have actually walked the Via Dolorosa, in Israel – yes, really, or at least, the bits of it that were open to the public, back then – helped make the ritual real for me. There are certain embellishments to it, at least among Catholics, which are decidedly non-Scriptural (like, it must said, quite a lot of the Catholic faith) – the legend of Veronica wiping the face of Jesus is one such moment – but otherwise, the Stations of the Cross is a powerful and deeply moving experience.

Today, the point that stood out the most for me was the reality that Jesus faced on the day of His death.

Consider: Jesus was – and is – both fully God, and fully Man. As God the Son, He knew perfectly well what He would suffer, and how He would rise again, overcome Death and Hell, and redeem all Mankind. He said as much in His parables and prophecies – and, at the time, people thought He was NUTS.

But, as Jesus the Man… He was all alone.

His closest friends and disciples had completely abandoned Him. It did not matter in the slightest that He predicted and accepted it. Perhaps it is heretical to think that He felt utterly abandoned, but I know that, if I were faced with imminent death in the most painful and horrific manner imaginable at that time, I would at least want one of my friends to speak up for me.

And when Jesus, the Man, needed His friends – they fled and renounced Him.

Then He faced down a crowd of Pharisees who truly hated Him, because He dared to call them what they were – lovers of the Law, but not of the God who gave them the Law. His captors blindfolded and beat Him, and mocked Him while they did it.

The Romans scourged Him with at least 39, and possibly 40, lashes, using the Roman method of punishment, with a whip of cords. For those who do not know what this means – each cord ended in a small metal ball bearing, hook, or shard of bone, and each little attachment served a purpose.

The ball bearings would cause the blood vessels in the back to dilate, and the muscles to inflame and weaken. The shards of bone and hooks would shred the skin from the back. The two effects would combine to cause profuse bleeding and tremendous trauma to the victim.

This method of punishment alone was so severe and terrible that many died just from the flogging. And that was all BEFORE we even get to the process of crucifixion itself – a process so horrible, so dreadful, that full Roman citizens could not, BY LAW, be crucified. Only the absolute WORST of criminals could go through something this bad.

And why did Jesus have to go through all of this?

Because He claimed to be a king.

Yes, He did it in roundabout ways, through parables. He never admitted to it directly, even when questioned point-blank by Pontius Pilate. His answers were weird and evasive – but they were sort of an answer:

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

— Matthew 27:11-14, English Standard Version

Worse, He claimed to be the Son of the Blessed:

53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council[f] were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”[g]61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

— Mark 13:53-65, English Standard Version

In Kipling’s story, called The Man Who Would Be King, an adventurer goes into the hinterlands and meets a tribe who have never seen a White man. They fall on their knees and worship him as a god, and he happily laps it up. But then, one day, while trying to fornicate with a local woman, she bites his lip and causes him to bleed – and the tribe around him realises he is only a man and pursues him to his death. That tribe then beheads him, and crucifies his friend – who, by some astonishing miracle, survives, and makes his way back to India as a beggar and cripple to tell his tale.

This is what most people will think if some nutter of a man, claiming to be God, comes to them. If he performs miracles or shows astonishing levels of knowledge, sure, many of us will assume he really is God.

But then… if he bleeds… how can he be God?

That, by the way, is precisely the argument Muzzies use against us all the time. They cannot conceive of a God that would allow Himself to bleed and die. Of course, their god is a pagan idol, who according to Izzlamist descriptions is severely limited in his power and cannot even remember the order of his creation, or the amount of time he took to make everything. so it’s not like we need to take that very seriously.

Our God, by contrast, can do whatever He wants. And because He is three persons in one essence, there is no contradiction between one of the persons entering Creation as a mortal and finite man, and God as an essence being the immortal and infinite spirit.

When you contemplate these things, you realise the enormity of terror and fear that awaited Jesus, the man. He faced a crowd of Jews who wanted to kill Him so badly that they literally said they would take innocent blood upon themselves and their descendants.

This, by the way, is vital to understand. The Romans did not condemn Jesus to death – and far too many Christians, including those in the Catholic Church, and most Evangelical churches, try to “lawyer” their way around this fact. It was NOT the Romans who wanted him condemned – it was the Jews. Pontius Pilate tried everything he could to stop the death of Jesus – he flogged Him as a form of “mercy”, to satisfy the crowd, and he would have let Our Lord go if he could.

The Jews, however, were not satisfied. They wanted Jesus DEAD for what He had said and done. And they were willing to risk Divine wrath and judgement to do it. To this day, the Talmud claims Jesus – Yeshua, to name Him properly – is constantly being boiled alive in the lowest levels of Sheol, in a vat of human faeces and semen.

That is the level of animosity, of hatred, that Jesus, the man, faced.

On that day, nearly 2,000 years ago, the Jews were right. They had killed a blasphemer and a pretender – or so they thought.

The man who claimed to be king, was in fact no more than a man. He could bleed. He did bleed, and He died, as a man.

Not merely any man, either – but as a criminal, condemned to the most horrible, vile, dishonourable, and shameful of deaths. Never forget that Our Lord was crucified ALIVE AND NAKED before the entire world. We depict Him draped in a loincloth, both to satisfy the censors of history, and to lessen the humiliation He suffered.

He died in the last extremity of mortal agony – abandoned, alone, hated, reviled, mocked, and condemned to the worst of all possible fates by His own people.

Now, ask yourself:

Would you be able to face such a fate, and still remain silent, impassive, and humble?

Our Lord faced all of this – and He overcame all of it.

That, alone, makes Him worthy of respect.

And, in two days, we will remember why He is worthy of worship, as well.

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  1. Dire Badger

    There is a reason ritual is so powerful. Even when that ritual is pagan. Young girls used to sometimes collapse from emotion after dancing around the maypole.

    And 95% of Catholicism is Pagan as hell. Then again, so are most ‘organized’ religions. Why? Because that ritual, the Golden calf, the cross, the cheesecloth of Turin, Saint Bob’s penis trapped inside of a water sprinkler, these are all powerful tools for evoking emotion, and most organized religions figured out human psychology a thousand years before atheists started dreaming about cigars.

    You can hate it, you can love it, you can throw yourself into it, or you can step away from it and try to be a real Christian, but don’t ignore it or fail to recognize it. Satan uses it too, because he knows it’s power, which is why he snuck it into so many churches.

  2. LTC (Ret.) Thomas Kratman

    Not 95%. Some percentage above zero, yes, certainly, but nothing like that high. Remember, the surface is not the depths.

    Now is it polytheistic? Yes, by any human understanding. This does not rule out understanding of the divinity, but we’re only human and will have to work with what we’ve been given.

  3. furor kek tonicus

    probably the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard from a Catholic is that Latin is “the language of Heaven”. followed closely by “all Protestant churches are built on the sites of former desecrated Catholic churches, which is why Catholic lay people shouldn’t enter them”.
    i have no problem with worshipping in Latin ( or Greek or whatever your native language is ) but that’s just absurd. fortunately, i don’t think that’s an actual position of the RCC.

    • Bardelys the Magnificent

      That likely came from an over-zealous TradCath. They give all of us a bad name. Latin is a better language for worship than English as it is more precise, and being a dead language the meanings of words never change, but I wouldn’t call it the “language of God”. That likely comes from Latin being the official language of the Church, which is fine and dandy, but I highly doubt they’re only speaking Latin in heaven.


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