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Holy Week: Meditation 5

Tissot's picture of Christ is mocked in the House of Caiaphas

Christ Is Mocked in the House of Caiaphas

Well I don’t know how many of you have stayed with me so far this week.

But I wonder if you will after today.

Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, ‘Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?’ (Mt 26:67-68)

But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor (Mt 27:14)

It’s a shocking scene.

Piss Christ that is.

You may have read about it in the papers.

It was created by Andres Serrano in 1987.

It was meant to be outrageous and offensive.

It is said to be made with the artist’s own urine.

He took a plastic crucifix and put it in a glass of his own urine and then took a photo of it.

As a member of the Turner prize panel said of it this week

Piss Christ is distinguished by its calculated offence and rhetorical nature – the way it set out to be unmissably outrageous.

It succeeded.

It was attacked this week.

On Palm Sunday by what appear to be Christians deeply offended by the work.

Let’s be clear it is deeply offensive.

Of course, I loved the proprietor’s reaction

said he would keep the exhibition open to the public with the destroyed work on show ”so people can see what barbarians can do”.

Remember that Christ is to Christians what the Koran is to Islam.

Don’t see many Koran’s dipped in urine.

But the measurement of our reaction is not that of others.

It is that of Christ.

But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge

It’s hard that isn’t it?

But you will say – it’s blasphemous, we need to stand up, we aren’t called to be a door mat.

Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, ‘Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?’

Come on you know that you want Him to hit back. You know you want Him to amaze them by telling them their names – Ezra, Fred whatever. You know that you want them to fall at His feet and be amazed and overcome.

You do – don’t you.

At least half of you is cheering on the people that attacked the picture.

Instead this Easter we have Piss Christ.

An obscenity.

And instead we need to bless those that attack Jesus.

Instead we need to look at our own reactions and ask ourselves – can we react like Jesus?

Piss Christ by Andres Serrano

Piss Christ by Andres Serrano

Other Holy Week Meditations:

Holy Week: Meditation 1

Holy Week: Meditation 2

Holy Week: Meditation 3

Holy Week: Meditation 4

Good Friday Holy Week: Meditation 6

Holy Week Holy Saturday: Meditation 7

Holy Week 2012 Meditation series

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4 comments on “Holy Week: Meditation 5

  1. John Elgie
    April 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Hmmmmm! Not surprised that there are no comments yet. Very challenging Will; well done. How would I respond to extreme provocation? Not entirely sure that I know…..

  2. Geoff C
    April 22, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    In many ways – nothing has changed!
    People still want to provoke a reactiopn from Christians
    hoping to find a chink in their armour – or a bad
    reaction so they can point the finger.
    It is hard not to react – though sometimes it is actually
    right to react – so that makes it quite tricky.
    I have not heard of, or read about, this Piss Christ – but
    feel it would be best totally ignored with the contempt it deserves.
    It seems some people are out to just be as offensive and provocative
    as thay can possibly be!
    Some religeons would react very strongly indeed and so this whole sort of
    thing is basically trying to stir up a hornets nest.
    Goodness knows there has been enough trouble stirred up in the
    name of religeons over the years – without intentionally
    trying to exacerbate the situation.
    Personally – I wouldn’t bless or curse people that did this sort of thing
    of it were to do with my religeon – as I realise it’s exactly what they are after
    – a reaction – be it good or bad. M<uch better to completely ignore them
    Yes it is awfull – and each time that is voiced it will fuel the fire.
    In a way – Christians are in a loose loose situation! Bless them,
    and with the best will in the world you are viewed as weak and spineless
    No – I don't believe it is seen as strong.
    Curse them and you have lost your 'Christian credebility'
    Don't react and they don't know what 's going on.
    Just my angle – I am sure others will think differently.
    I am in a different position spiritually, and so my pojnt of view
    will possibly differ from others.

  3. Jean
    April 22, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I hadn’t heard about this either having been on holiday from work and printed media!
    My view? There are far more important things to react to in the swimming pool that is the world;, genocide, injustice, domestic violence, exloitation. I’m not going to waste my time on a little bit of piss in the pool.

  4. Will Cookson
    April 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Thanks for the replies. I think that it does bring up a variety of opinions. I think that when meditating on these passages it shows how he could so easily have replied but didn’t even under such provocation – and as you will see in the next meditation still prays for their forgiveness. Just amazing!

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