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Apr 18th
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A Slanted Version of the Greatest Story Ever Told: Who Really Killed Jesus Christ

By Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City, RP, and West Covina, CA
I ntroduction. Many people think that they know by heart the life of Jesus Christ. Once again, this author comes up with his slanted version of the Greatest Story ever told in the Bible. Certainly this version puts to shame Mel Gibson's story of the life and passion of Jesus Christ. Readers are warned to have healthy doses of faith, wit and humor if they want to read this essay. This was published first in 1999 in the now defunct publication and other Filipino-American publications from 2003 to 2006.

IN WHAT WAS THEN AN UNHEARD-OF TOWN of Bethlehem in the Roman Empire's Third-World-like Province of Judea (now modern-day Israel and Palestine), a baby was born sometime between 4 BC to 7 BC to a young woman named Mary and her fiancé, Joseph. While the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew traced the infant's lineage to Abraham and David, nothing suggested to the Jewish people that this child was the promised Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Yet his life, death, and resurrection were to become the center pillars of Christianity and dominate its more-than 2,000-year-old history.

The story said that the child's mother was a young virgin who had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. We know even less about Jesus' "adoptive" father, Joseph, except that he was a carpenter and was not a politician, hence he was a man of great integrity. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant prior to their marriage, he decided quietly to break the engagement. To his tribute and good sense, Joseph did not advise Mary to go and have an abortion in a Pro-Choice medical facility. In a dream an angel told Joseph that the child was from God and that he should proceed with the marriage, as it was not good for Mary to become a single mother.

The Wise Men

It was said in the Gospel that after the birth of Christ some wise men from eastern lands arrived at the palace of King Herod, the Romans' puppet of a ruler in Jerusalem, asking. "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to pay homage to him'" (also mentioned in what is now Matthew 2:1-2, although "to pay homage" was replaced by "to worship"). They showed up at King Herod's palace on the wrong assumption than an infant king would be found among the kin of the royalty. They learned, however, of the location of the infant only when King Herod's priests informed them of the Old Testament's prophecy that the long-awaited Jewish messiah would be born in

These men were probably astronomers from
Mesopotamia (now occupied by Iraq) or Persia (now modern-day Iran). The "star" they followed might have been a comet or a supernova, which amazingly modern-day scientists guessed as a star that entered a new stage of life by exploding and giving off enormous amounts of light. Astronomers in Israel
at that time thought that the Star of Bethlehem could have been a conjunction of the planets that were later named as Jupiter and Saturn. Regardless of the light's source, it was regarded as a divinely-inspired beacon whose significance was perceived by this group of Eastern scholars and wise men, who could have numbered more than three "kings from the Orient."

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

T he gifts the wise men, or Magi, brought to Jesus were of such value in the ancient world that a poor family from
would have considered them treasures. Gold, of course, continues to be a consistently valuable commodity. The practical uses of myrrh and frankincense, however, are less familiar to modern-day consumers. Both come from aromatic plants and once processed are used to make perfumes, incense, and other scented products. Frankincense was also used for religious ceremonies and myrrh for funerals, so that modern Christians have attributed symbolic meanings to the gifts.

Jesus Sought Political Asylum in Egypt

T he story continued by relating that Herod the Great (the puppet of Rome) ordered the killing of all Jewish boys in and around Bethlehem under the age of two in an attempt to exterminate the Messiah he had heard about and feared (an event known as the "Massacre of the Innocents" or the "Niños Inocentes"). This happened when Jesus was about two-years old. An angel again appeared to Joseph to warn him of Herod's Genocidal extermination of all male infants, two-years old or younger, in
Bethlehem. King Herod had the mistaken notion that the birth of Jesus was the dawning of a new era for the Jews -- an epoch that would exclude him as the leader of the Jewish people. Jesus' family was forced to flee to Egypt
and seek political asylum there to escape Herod's wrath.

Following King Herod's death, an angel instructed Joseph that it was safe to return, and the family settled in the Galilean (now Palestinian) town of
. The Gospel provided very little information about Jesus' childhood and young adulthood. The story continued to say that a righteous man named Simeon and a prophetess named Anna recognized him as the Messiah. This, readers will find in the Gospel according to St. Luke that Jesus was "filled with wisdom beyond his years" (now identified as Luke 2:40) and that when he was 12-years-old the religious teachers in Jerusalem "were amazed at his understanding and his answers" (as related in what is now known as Luke 2:47) when Jesus met with them during a Passover festival.

The Roman colonial officials and the Jewish leaders thought wrongly that Jesus' kingdom was political, as Jesus was using politically-incorrect terms. They could not comprehend Jesus' statement that "his kingdom was not of this world." Jesus' promise of a kingdom other than the
Roman Empire was considered a political threat. The promise in the Beatitudes of hungry people being filled, and filled people becoming hungry, would be considered revolutionary. At the same time, even if all of these promises were offered within the context of the Jewish religious tradition and, therefore, must also be considered godly, the Jews saw them only from the political viewpoint. And the Jews thought that the awaited Redeemer would come as a champion of a warrior who would lead them to a successful military revolt to drive the Roman colonizers out of the Middle East

Who Really Ordered the Killing of Jesus Christ?

T he Gospel never revealed whether there was a conspiracy to crucify Jesus. Little did Christ and his disciples know that after he turned water into wine at a wedding, the wine-industry leaders of the
Roman Empire and of Israel
thought that he was bad for their business. Even owners of vineyards joined the chorus of protesters. When Jesus fed a multitude of more than 5,000 individuals with just five loaves of bread and two fishes, the Roman and Israeli bakers and fishermen were up in arms. They protested that this messiah or whatever name he used would ruin the fishing industry and bankrupt the owners of bakeries and wheat farmers.

Remember when Jesus scattered the tables of the moneychangers at a
Jerusalem temple, while saying that they should not make his father's house a market place? The currency-exchange moguls and financial-banking industries of Israel and the Roman Empire
nearly went berserk.

When Jesus started healing lepers and making the blind see by just wiping the patients' eyes with his saliva, he antagonized the then Roman equivalent of the healthcare organization (HMO), the Jewish physicians and pharmacists.

Then Jesus ordered his disciples to go out and preach and carry only the clothes on their backs and wear only a pair of sandals. The tailors and sandal makers and the owners of tanneries and garment factories realized that if he lived longer, his practices would lead to closures of their businesses.

Then the labor unions and their employers were aghast at the Christ's parable where the workers who reported for work late in the afternoon received the same wage as those who started toiling early in the morning. The capitalists and the union bosses said that Christ would eventually disrupt the Collective-Bargaining Agreements (
) that they signed.

When Jesus walked on the waters of the
Dead Sea
, the Israeli and Roman transportation magnates saw the probability that Jesus would teach his disciples and followers the way of avoiding expensive rides on ferry boats.

And when Jesus raised from the dead his friend, Lazarus, the embalmers, the funeral-home directors, the cemetery owners and even owners of flower shops said that finally that was it. They all formed a conspiracy and it was not too difficult to bribe Judas and lobby Pontius Pilate to turn a blind eye as they worked the crowd to demand that Jesus Christ be crucified. The rest, thanks to the Business Establishment, is now history. # # #

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  • mabuhay : My take on who ordered really the killing of Jesus Christ: «link» But pls read it with the proverbial grain of salt & a lot of wit and humor
  • mabuhay : (Comic Relief for Monday.) Some Filipinos call an American problem as the "Pula (Redneck) & Puti (White) Syndrome." There is the same problem in Russia. Over there, Filipinos call it the "Pula (Red State) & Putin Syndrome." :-) :-)
  • mabuhay : Here's is the history of the April Fools' Day & even its introduction in Sorsogon Proivince": «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : «link» Good heavens, here is more bad news about "same-sex marriages ('gayrriages')" or "same-sex relationship." FYI.
  • mabuhay : Filipino Seamen Participating in the Search for the Malaysian airliner at the Indian Ocean off Australia. CNN reported that an all-Filipino crew of a car carrier has been asked by Australian maritime authorities to join the search as it was the closest ship to the location of what is suspected as debris that might possibly come from the missing Boeing 777 airliner. For details, pls read: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : Attn. Fil-Am Sales Agents of Herbalife. We have heard stories that Herbalife allegedly is promoting more the recruitment of sales agents who are required to pay modest "membership fees" to be able to do business in the company. It indeed appears that Herbalife is not pushing its supposed main function of selling its herbal products to the general public. We want to hear your experience. Pls contact us at «email».
  • mabuhay : A Fil-Am Story on Death & Redemption for Lent: «link» FYI.
  • mabuhay : If you think you know the true story of the EDSA Revolution of 1986, pls read -- with your thinking cap on -- my version and then decide. «link» Happy reading.
  • mabuhay : If you have not yet read this story about a Fil-Am young Valentino, here's the link: «link» Happy Valentine's Day to all.
  • mabuhay : February Is the Philippine-American History Month and Not Octoberfake «link»

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