Blog 22 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
|My Crocodile; i.e.: Do not spare me, spare my Devil.|
The mystery for modern man, who has been put together by the “ticky tacky” of advertising lobby on behalf of not only politicians, but the powers that pay the advertisers and sponsor the politicians, is how the sacrificial rhetoric came to be such an integral part of early Christianity and then was dismissed.
Robert Hayman in his book “The Power of Sacrifice” http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Sacrifice-Christian-Discourses/product-reviews/0813214890 writes (p. 95): “Sacrifice was also an integral part of Judaism. As Jews, the earliest Christians were not unfamiliar with sacrifice since it was a constant feature of daily worship in the
. As citizens of the Jerusalem Temple Roman Empire, Christians would have also been familiar with the sacrifices performed twice daily in the on behalf of the emperor. As the early Christians began to reflect on the symbolic power of Jesus’ life and death, it was not surprising that their letters and narratives revealed sacrificial themes. Jesus of Nazareth was killed as a common criminal, but those who reflected on his death were able to valorize it by interpreting it with sacrificial symbolism. As the “body of Christ” on earth, Christians also began to see themselves as a “living sacrifice”. Temple
Heyman, however, ads to the above a disclaimer (p. 97): “….it is not my intention to attempt to discern whether the historical Jesus considered his impending death to be a sacrifice or not.”
Through the disclaimer, Heyman abandons early Eastern Christianity, which he at first as if joins, but then gets cold feet and rushes back to the Catholic camp created by the princes and boyars, who most definitely do not wish to have anything to do with sacrifice, especially not if it is self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice carries with it, when acknowledged in the public arena, a rather awesome charisma..
Aside from this blogger’s belief that Jesus was not hung on a cross, but was thrown into a burning pit of fire, no other writer to my knowledge has explored the probability that Jesus cum John did not necessarily offer himself as a sacrifice, but was daring the authorities to make him a sacrifice. Daring is, of course, the expression of a fighter’s opposition and challenge.of the enemy.
John’s challenge is best reflected in Anna Comnena’s “The Alexiad” and her description of the behavior of John(?) Basil when he is brought before the burning pit at the Hippodrome in
Constantinople. Writes Anna: “On the other side [of the burning pit] a cross had been set up and the godless fellow was given an opportunity to recant: if by some chance through dread of the fire he changed his mind and walked over to the cross, he could still escape the burning…. Far from giving way, it was obvious that he despised all punishment and threats, and while he was still some distance from the flames he laughed at them and boasted that angels would rescue him from the midst of the fire…. But when the crowd stood aside and let him see clearly the awe-inspiring sight (for even afar off he could feel the fire and saw the flames rising and shooting out fiery sparks with a noise like thunder…), then for all his boldness he seemed to flinch before the pyre. He was plainly troubled. Like a man at his wit’s end he darted his eyes now here, now there, struck his hands together and beat his thighs. And yet, affected though he was at the mere sight of it, he was still hard as steel; his iron will was not softened by the fire, nor did the messages sent by the emperor break his resolve….”
In other words, the Johns fires that are being lit these days in Latvia and elsewhere in the world as a symbolic commemoration of the solstice and for the entertainment of city youths and picnickers, was not what faced John Basil (later renamed Jesus), a man who was honoured as “King” by his followers, because of his commitment to endure death for his beliefs.
And so it came to be. The challenge offered by one John and one Jesus to the secular authorities was turned into a joke by the authorities. They took both men up on their challenge, killed them, and scared the rest of the world into silence.