How would we treat Jesus in today’s world?

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“Jesus sentenced to life in prison.” That was the verdict meted out in a mock trial last week in Virginia.

The trial, held to spotlight the high death penalty convictions in the commonwealth (which is second only to Texas), created some questions in my mind regarding our perceptions about life.

If the Bible hadn’t already told us that the savior of the world has been here, died, rose again and promised to return in the future, how would we treat this young man when he began to proclaim himself as The Redeemer?

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Remember that the Jews of Jesus’ time on Earth, roughly 2,000 years ago, looked for a majestic king to return and rule Israel.

They never fathomed their savior as a poor man with no earthly possessions. Because of this oversight, most Jews still do not recognize Jesus as savior.

Halfway across the world from Israel, a country was formed just more than 200 years ago with this same savior as its guide.

This nation, the United States of America, initially recognized that God rules everything. Because of this steadfast belief, our nation prospered.

But, if you are familiar with the trials of Israel in the Old Testament, we are following the same path of unfaithfulness that led to floods, famine and elimination.

Our nation has become so powerful that we do not need a savior, which is why this trial interested me.

If we were modern-day Jews, God’s chosen people, would we consider Jesus uncool because he stands up against the arrogance, immaturity and “Me first” messages bestowed upon children and young adults by the likes of Snoop Dog, Eminem and Kanye West?

Would we consider him blasphemous for berating us for wasting hours each day on Facebook? Would we scoff at the miracles he performs, such as raising someone from the dead, healing the blind or walking on water?

How would we feel when he questioned the integrity of our churches?

If this pauper laughed in Donald Trump’s face when The Donald bragged about his earthly riches, how would we react? If he went on tour opposite Charlie Sheen, would any of us pay the admission price to hear his message about winning? If he held his own talk show, how many of us would tune in?

Suppose he becomes a professional athlete. Would that enhance his message and make us willing to worship him and shower him in praise?

And when he says that the United States is the most spoiled nation in the world, will we hate him for simply speaking the truth? When he says that the Republican and Democratic parties are equally corrupt and self-serving, will we listen to reason or form a lynch mob?

Since he has no resources, Jesus would have a court-appointed attorney. Would he receive the best representation possible?

No way.

The news of this man would be suffocated in our wired world. If Perez Hilton or Jerry Springer didn’t cover his story, most of us wouldn’t even know he was here … much less on trial.

Most of us would ignore him altogether. Kind of like now … and then.

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at