For the Christian world, this is Easter Sunday, when Jesus (if you want to look at it technically) rose from the dead as Zombie Leader to raise his zombie army, people who, if they ate human flesh (specifically his!), were promised to one day rise from the dead too (I think many churches might call these other names like: The Eucharist, Resurrection, etc). And while I did ask at the video store why they weren’t doing a display for Zombie Sunday, I did not write this post to intentionally offend the 1 billion Christians (who often display a lack of humor regarding exact wording).
No, I wrote this post to point out this, that this holiday, or holy days for the Christians celebrate the act which gave humanity hope: That God in the end, embraced any limitation to reconcile with a rather tetchy and rebellious species…humans. What they don’t emphasis or embrace is that this greatest of all divine accomplishments was done by a person with a disability. Yes, Jesus was disabled, in all aspects of that word.
This is not to say that Jesus wasn’t able bodied before, but then so was I. And it is not to say that Jesus was not made disabled by other humans; which I am sure the tens of thousands of soldiers coming home also can relate to. What interested me, and kept me thinking was that when the three went out that morning to go to Golgotha, only one was so physically disabled so as to REQUIRE assistance from Simon a Cyrenian (Luke 23:26 if it interests you). Now I grew up, well, a type of Christian, I still am, a Christian (a different type), and I knew the “Passion” (ick!) or Crucifixion story backwards and forwards. But until I became myself, DISabled: literally unable to do things without assistance, did I ask myself: Why? Why did Jesus, between standing solemn before the Roman representative and forgiving the people who were crucifying him WHILE they were doing it, need help? I mean, this was supposed to be Jesus, who was God-on-earth’s big moment right? So why, does a person who says he could call a host of angels, NEED help. In fact, need help so badly that if Simon wasn’t there, there would be no big crucifixion scene: because Jesus was disabled.
Now there are a lot of religions but I have to wonder how many of them have a PWD doing the “big act” that the corporate religion is based around? Because that is what Jesus was, a person with disabilities, limitations, needing able-bodied help to do the job, which according to Christians, was saving humanity. A lot happening because of Simon; because an able bodied person and a person with a disability worked together, to save humanity? Now we can say Simon carrying the cross was unintentional, except aren’t Christians the ones who always go on that EVERYTHING Jesus did was intentional, that as GOD, Jesus reeked of intentional. Then that means Jesus WANTED to be, for however short a time, a person with a disability (in fact, if you look at John 20:14-16, Jesus ROSE as a person of disability too – since those are the people given the jobs to tend the graves in that time period – and the reason Mary did not recognize him).
See, that’s the part I keep going over in my head. That Jesus and God had made this agreement on how things would go, and at some point, the Divine decision was that Jesus would not only need God, but would need the assistance of other humans too. That Jesus would, in his, I think we call it “final stages” require a caregiver named Simon. That Jesus knew what it meant to remember what it was like to be able bodied and no longer be that, and to know that wasn’t what mattered. See, didn’t matter. The world was/is saved, by a Jesus the disabled, and while no one is going to go up there on Easter Sunday and preach that sermon, because we live in a world where people with disabilities aren’t seen as truly equal. Of course, Jesus was also a criminal (ex-con) and a labeled traitor by his own population, which also isn’t going to be preached. Because it turns out that 2000 odd years later people who are picked up police are still “probably guilty of something” and “there is free speech and then being a traitor to your people”. And (insert a snorting laugh here), disabled people don’t go around saving the world; they should “consider themselves fortunate” to be in a society which gives them access. Which reminds me, I wonder, how many of those churches tomorrow around the world will have full access, you know, the kind of access JESUS on the way to Calvary would have needed?
I never understood why over the years the church leaders always skipped over parts of the final time of the crucifixion. It was always the long speeches instead of “I thirst!” and waiting while someone brought a drink. Or “Why, why have your forsaken me?” Because these are statements that someone who is dependent, limited, a person of disability makes. Does the idea of Jesus accepting being a PWD and it making not a bit of difference, seem offensive?
Just remember Sunday, if you are an Christian, or even an Easter Christian that it was Jesus the disabled, Jesus who needed caregiving, Jesus who needed Simon to carry the cross upon which he was going to bridge the gap between the human and the divine. The state of the body and who Jesus was did not change for Jesus, did not change for God, and yet, that is not the sermon people will be hearing tomorrow: That Jesus and caregiver (Simon, the most famous caregiver in history!) were enough to get what needed to be done. And so God, in this Christian act of supreme divinity, needed a hand. And did not consider it to lessen the act.
See, that is FAR more radical than the zombies, isn’t it? And sadly, it is all true. The one group which SHOULD be speaking on Easter Sunday, who should be up in front to explain the emotions, the struggles internally, the feeling of dependency, of learning to accept assistance in common needs, of learning to leave the able bodied self behind, are PWD’s. Jesus was disabled. Why do they forget that?
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