Jesus and State Sponsored Torture

As the news has hit over the past day that “torture works” I’ve had an image in my mind. There’s a dark room, with a few strategically placed lights. Perhaps I watched too much 24 (although I instinctively looked away from the screen whenever the torture on that show began.) In this room is the […]

by bob

Jan 26, 2017

Part of the torture display at the Tower of London

As the news has hit over the past day that “torture works” I’ve had an image in my mind. There’s a dark room, with a few strategically placed lights. Perhaps I watched too much 24 (although I instinctively looked away from the screen whenever the torture on that show began.)

In this room is the victim…the person upon whom the torture or, if you prefer “enhanced interrogation techniques” will be worked out.

Also in the room are those who will be inflicting torture onto the victim.

Now also present in my picture, but unseen, is Jesus.

So here’s my question: Where do you imagine Jesus in that picture?

Does he have his hand on the shoulder of the torturer encouraging them to inflict more pain on the victim to “get him to talk?”

Or is he with the victim? I am not saying he endorses the actions of the victim, any more than he endorses any particular actions of you or me. But in the current picture, do you see him aligned with the side of power, or with the broken?

Not sure? We do have an account of Jesus in a torture situation at the hands of an empire that we can recall. And we know where he sat. (Despite announcing at his arrest that he had 12 legion of angles at his disposal, he chose peace, not violence…not retaliation.)

This is where my mind and heart has been going for the past several hours.

What about Bob?

bob

I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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