I spent some long hours in the bookstore today browsing through books. With the thought of the movie based on the Cuban revolutionary, Che Guevara which I watched last night still lingering fresh on my mind, it was good to find books about the iconic figure of revolution to read. But there was a striking reflection made by one of the authors i was reading on Che.
He was saying that Che and the belief he was propagating was somehow watered down after his death in the way that people were commercializing his image to sell thing. Something that Che would oppose if he were alive. A face that people embrace with ease but little is actually known about what he believed and practiced. A portrait that made it’s way through history on t-shirts, mugs, CD covers and etc. But behind the face lies a message awaiting resurrection, awaiting deconstruction to reveal the message. Che’s beliefs is still tucked deep behind the popular image projected by commercialization and popular culture.
To me it has a reverberating similarity to that of Jesus. He too was a revolutionary (par excellence) with a message, a message that eventually got him crucified with other rebels, as they thought him to be. His message instigated a plurality of responses among people. But it ultimately called for a radical, laid down following. But coming to the turn of time frame we live in Jesus has become, like Che’s image, a popular iconic image, which Christians feel safe in embracing. Jesus, as people think of him taught us to be nice and tolerant. To be people blessed always and when we believe him we would get all the blessings.
Jesus’ image and what we sometimes think of him somehow is waves apart from the radical nature of what he taught and died for. I have to state though, that I’m not telling you his message was that of military violence and going around carrying posters that say “God hates ______” (you fill in the blanks). A good illustration of radical message but one that Jesus would not approve of right application would be this post here. All this is not what I am proposing when i say Jesus’ message was radical. It is something more than these ideas laid out. (I’m thinking this would make a great series though in the future)
As ironic as it may sound though, Jesus, as displayed by most (just to drive the point) of the teaching from the pulpit is nowhere near to a vision of revolution. The icon has survived but the Jesus who called people to follow him and carry the cross as well as the resurrected Jesus, his message is somewhat lost. And like Che’s message and ideology, Jesus’ radical vision and message is awaiting resurrection, awaiting deconstruction of the icon figure to reveal the message.
But as of now, it is still very much tucked deep behind the popular image projected by commercialization and popular culture.