Christ made people angry.
For example, Christ challenged the political assumptions of the Romans – referring to himself in lofty terms strictly reserved for Tiberius Caesar: Divine, Lord God from God; Liberator, Son of God; Savior of the World, Redeemer.
Christ dismissed the political aspirations of the Zionist movement in ancient Palestine: Telling them that his Kingdom was not of this world; Telling them to sheath their swords; Telling them to love their enemies.
Christ was impatient with the accepted religious ideals of the Roman world –He taught that there was only one religion – no, scratch that…religion is absolutely the wrong word – There is only one God. And He is, in fact, God. And He will, in fact, judge. And He does, in fact, care about everything. And His care and His judgment are, in fact, motivated by His love For us all. And not – like those alabaster Greco-Roman chalk-gods – by some personal or petty concern for greater personal or petty comfort.
Christ devastated the religious authority of the Jewish Temple – not because He despised the Temple or the Law or the Fathers, but because his heart had been smashed by the spectacle of God’s people loving those things instead of He who gave them; Like they’d missed the fern for the frond; Like a dog who looks at a finger pointing, instead of at the thing the finger is pointing towards.
He upset the apple cart of history forever.
So they killed him for it. They all killed him.
Dr. David McDonald is the teaching pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, MI. The church, widely considered among the most innovative in America, has been featured on CNN.com and in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Time Magazine. David weaves deep theological truths with sharp social analysis and peculiar observations on pop culture. He lives in Jackson with his wife, Carmel, and their two kids. Follow him on twitter (@fossores) or online at fossores.com