By Joel Hess –
Habt ihr nicht von jenem tollen Menschen gehört
I love Clint Eastwood’s westerns, especially High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider, and Unforgiven. They all follow a similar script. The bad guys are tormenting a lonesome town. The town isn’t necessarily guiltless as it is populated by cowardly citizens. Things fall apart.
Alas, rising out of the desert on a horse with no name enters the Stranger to bring justice, clean up the city, and finally defeat the bad guys with cold-as-ice gun play.
These films resonate with us because we want such a hero today!
Turn on the T.V.; the world is going to hell in a hand basket. The West plays the cowardice town where up is down and down is up. People act like animals; more than that, they truly believe they are animals! Children are bought and sold in doctor’s offices and in petri dishes, raised like pets by those who can afford them. Sex sells everything, yet everyone is outraged as our children are sexually assaulted. People cry foul when they see pictures of unborn babies wincing while their mother smokes, yet when the she sticks a knife in the skull of the same baby she enjoys applause. You are expected to not only tolerate, but to make a cake for it, to pay for it. Smile. Arbeit Macht Frei.
As the West falls apart, ironically an opposite force marches across the desert. People of the Law, young and old, poor and rich, well-educated or middle class, all disgruntled with the chaos of the world and the moral chaos of their culture. ISIS is teenage rebellion, make no mistake. Confused children looking for order! Violence begets violence. They think they are cleaning things up for God. Swords steal the lives of wrongdoers, punishing sin, and punishing all who fail to please their God.
There is nothing the West will do about it because they no longer know why they should do anything about it. They can no longer use words like ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ They can only sit and watch it happen. The world is paralyzed.
Yet you don’t need to look far to see such a “Wild West”, do you? What enemies are breathing down your back at home, at school, at work, or within yourself?
April is the cruelest month, breeding
LIlacs out of the dead land, mixing
In the clearing stands a boxer, a fighter by his trade and he carries the reminder…
Yesterday we watched Jesus enter Jerusalem like a boxer into a ring, like the allied forces storming Normandy, like the High Plains Drifter coming with vengeance.
Make no mistake, Jesus was sending a message: I’m the freaking King. The people waved their flags, threw confetti, rolled out the red carpet. A coup was going to take place; the rightful heir to David’s throne came to throw the ring into the fire.
The crowds who were tired of being torn between their self-righteous leaders and the lawless goyim slowly suffocating their cities welcomed Jesus like Napoleon.
If you are honest, part of you yells with them as you watch the news. You yell with them as you listen to another asinine speech by a Hollywood celebrity. You yell with them as you stare incredulously at Jihadi Johnny training little kids to slice throats. You scream with them as you hear lies and misinformation brainwash children to think there is only now and then there is darkness, so who cares.
Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes to stop it all!!
Be honest; you want to take a hammer to your enemies! You want to clean up this world. You want God to bring justice!
So the High Plains Drifter enters.
It is dark in a garden. The showdown begins. The chief priests, self-righteous mobsters, meet Jesus in the garden, where snakes like to do their business. Quickly, Jesus’ disciples pick up their weapons – and so do you!
“Stop! Lay down your guns!” Our hero commands?
He puts down His .44 Magnum? The One who raised the dead. The One who fed 5000?
They take Him away. They try Him. They make up lies about Him. They make Him the enemy, the hater of mankind, the rabble rouser enemy of Israel. He is what is wrong with the world?
And He says nothing!
Oh now, He’s quiet! The One who spoke with authority who caused a prostitute to give up her profession.
They strip Him. They crucify Him? He lets them put His arms back, one by one. He lets them pound crudely made nails into His uncorrupted flesh!
This is no Eastwood film. This is no hero. Violence.
Finally, words come out too late as He is taunted by His enemies.
He looks at them all. He sees the eyes of Peter. He counts the hairs on the head of Caiaphas. He sees His betrayer slipping away into shadows. He watches you in that dark room alone with your thoughts, oh, your cruel thoughts. He sees your enemy at school, at work, at home. He watches Jihad Johnny boiling blood and raising his sword. He looks at Miley Cyrus, Barak Obama, George Bush and your uncle lost in his perverted desire. The abortion doctor, and your little sister. Adam and Eve. Oh Cain, where is your brother?
He whispers, “Father forgive them.”
He whimpers, “It is finished.”
That’s what the Hero does when He meets His enemies. He takes their best shot. He receives the blows of 6000 years. He turns the other cheek. He forgives. He loves them to the end. He does not retaliate.
You were once the enemy. But now you are friend. The ultimate enemy sin, Satan and death have been made toothless. Bumbles bounce.
You can turn on the T.V. now. You don’t need to be afraid! You can be honest about your ugly desires and past. In your mirror you see Jesus.
So when you see your enemy, put down your guns. Forgive them. Pray for them. Love them. Die for them.
That’s what heroes do. That’s what our Hero has done.
Of every glove that knocked him down and cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame, “I am leaving, I am leaving” but the fighter still remains, la la la