Monday, March 19, 2012

Volunteering for your life

I'll admit something no shame. As a human being... I was born with tear ducts. Big whoop. Actually, yeah, it is. It comes in use with emotions, something of a taboo word for us guys and men (never understood why). Whenever I watch the trailer for The Hunger Games (the trailer convinced me to check the book out, glad I did), right when Katniss volunteers for her sister, it's not just that she cries it out... it's that she's giving up the possibility of living after one round of an extremely corrupt and manipulative, hyperviolent game. She volunteers to take the place of her own sister to ensure that Primrose will live another year. The reason it gives me chills every single time is because, I'm convinced of this, of the culture I live in.
What do I mean by that? Everyone knows how to speak, but not everyone knows all them fancy edumucated words (the ones that are at least 3 syllables- like that one I just used). This society we live in no longer is based on the Biblical tenets of our Founding Fathers, it now has a foundation of what's called hedonism: "All for me and none else." We're literally taught in nearly every way of everyday life to be selfish. Live longer at the expense of others. Make money for yourself and do what you can to forsake others. Or if you have to take care of others, try to look out for yourself first and take care of "problems" later. I've had issues with the basic tenets of this society for such a long time, that I was glad to find a trailer of a movie where someone selflessly volunteered to take the place of someone else for the possibility of death.
In fact, Katniss volunteering seems to have a Messianic resonation in her character. She loves her sister deeply. Immensely. She encourages her sister to keep living on. When the dreaded Hunger Games celebration chooses her (randomly) to be the tribute for District 12, her sister immediately takes her place. That, in itself, is rebellion in the eyes of the government of Panem. Still, they got someone. Only who they've got turns out to be someone who's a new level rebellion and will eventually become the symbol of a new type of rebellion. Sound familiar?
When most think of Jesus, they think of peace-talks, a couple pep rallies, and hardly anything else beyond his death. Still, people chose him to be the advocate replacement for a well-known criminal named Barnabas. The people chose the tribute, yet he went along with it anyway, to take the place of all others. The Hunger Ga- I mean crucifixion was a suffocatingly deadly torture/death sentence that, along with its notoriety was also called the Shameful Death because you were elvated and (this part is NEVER revealed in all the paintings nor movies) naked. Total humiliation, pain, and shame. Simply seeing it was a way to keep rebellion under control. Yet it still wasn't easy. People had their own ideas of rebellion. Different styles, different angles. Even the patriot Judas of Kerioth (you know him as Iscariot) had a few ideas of how to committ illegal rebellion against this blasphemous Roman Empire, yet didn't act upon it. Jesus had what one could call a polar opposite style- he was open about what he would do, yet he never had a pep rally to strike the government down. It was more gradual. Very subtle. And, as leader of a whole new kind of rebellion that was unheard of in literally every way at the time, he had t be forced under control. The people chose crucifixion, something that the emperor was opposed of doing in the first place (wanted the second opinion of the Egyption Pharoah Herod, successor of Jesus' first attemptive murderer when he was a young child), and the Pharisees forced the Romans' hand to do it. I've heard churches say "If you were the only person on earth, Jesus would die for you many times." Like once wasn't enough? Maybe it's because I'm terrible at math, but to claim that Jesus would die OVER and OVER and OVER makes no sense when he only had to do it once.
He volunteered ONCE for you in all of history. That Hunger Games record is still not erased from history. Why should his volunteering for you ever be forgotten? Whether you're a guy or not, you're his sister. He's Katniss. He's volunteering for your place as tribute. And, in this "game", he plans on winning for you all the way using all the resources available. You going to be his sponsor for him being your tribute? Or bet on some miscellaneous legend like Gilgamesh (who went for treasure, personal gain) or Thor (becoming a god like his father and beating his brother, Loki)?

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