"The Tortured Christ" by Guido Rocha
If a picture is worth a thousand words then the sculpture "The Tortured Christ" by Brazilian artist Guido Rocha says it all. Its obscenity evokes revulsion in those, including myself, who prefer a crucifix to be more polite. But the incarnation cannot be fully grasped except when depicted as offensive. Granted, we generally associate incarnation with the babe of Bethlehem, angels singing, shepherds adoring, wise ones worshipping. But the incarnation, Jesus emptying himself of the power of God, is only fully and finally revealed in the offense of the cross for he empties himself not to be cuddled but to be crucified. In the end Jesus, the life of love, dies naked and alone, his humanity beaten out of him, screaming like a wounded animal with no one to offer comfort, no one to come to his rescue. When Luke recounts the story, Jesus remembers a thief who is dying next to him even as Jesus forgives the ones who crucify them both. That is the final offense of the crucifixion. Someone should pay. Someone should be held accountable. Someone did. Someone was. Jesus. Remember me.