THE WEAK FLESH

22 Mar

It was a simple meal, they sat on the floor probably. A small group of devout men and women; people who’d left their former lives to sit at the feet of the one true Rabbi. For generations their people had long held onto a story. Their prophets had spoken it. There would be a man who would be their salvation in their darkest hour. These people believed that the man pouring the wine, their Rabbi was that man.

He was infatic as he tore the bread and poured forth from the wineskin into the clay jars. The words he uttered then would become sacred ritual for the next two thousands years. But he was scared. The government was looking for him; their armed men were searching the streets and it was only a matter of time.

Later on that night he took some friends into the local wilderness and asked them to wait while he prayed for the strength to undergo the unbelievable suffering awaiting him; to bear the slings and arrows of Outrageous Fate with the dignity that was vital if it were to have any meaning whatsoever. Alone, in prayer, he struggled with Desolation and reaffirmed his resolve. But when he returned to his friends he lost it. They’d fallen asleep. The Rabbi was about to be flogged and flayed and beaten and finally nailed to a piece of wood and hung up for the birds to eat alive. And they couldn’t even stay up with him.

I confess it, I’m a drug addict and struggling to free myself. Failing so far, but I haven’t given up. It is going, I will win. And I know that in purging myself of the affliction there will be something a spoilt brat of the Postmodern Age would call suffering. But it’s… nothing. And I know on the other side of this ‘suffering’ I will be free.

Yet still I fail.

Piss Christ

“Piss Christ”, 1987
Andres Serrano (b. 1950)

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