Not a lot, really. I loved it as a kid because it meant there were only two more days to go before I got to eat chocolate for the first time since Christmas. That was before I asked the question: ‘why is it good to eat chocolate?’ and the answer came back: ‘because it tastes nice.’ And then I got to asking ‘but why is that meaningful?’ and was told ‘because it gives you pleasure.’ And then I realised that taste is a sensory experience, but the concept of pleasure is abstract. So here we go again.
On a more mundane level, there were always two things that puzzled me about the Passion:
1. It’s a long time since I read the Gospels, but I seem to recall that Jesus’s (and I defend the use of ’s) interrogation by Pontius Pilate is described in some detail. So does that mean there was a secretary present taking the minutes of the meeting? Otherwise, how could anybody know what the two men talked about?
2. Why did Judas have to surreptitiously identify Jesus to the arresting party? I mean… you know… wasn’t Jesus a bit of a celebrity in those parts? Is it reasonable to believe that a bunch of streetwise soldiers wouldn’t have recognised him immediately? I know they didn’t have CCTV in those days, but still. And apart from anything else, he was the only one who wore white robes.
Nevertheless, I do respect the right of Christians to believe in their mythology because I think that’s the clue to making the world a better place. Why don’t we all respect and celebrate one another’s cultures and take from them the things we find worth having? It’s when a few people so totally believe in their mythology and convince themselves that they’re 100% right that the trouble starts, because then they go around trying to force others to believe the same thing, justifying any action in pursuit of that aim no matter how disgusting. That’s when the world turns dark and decent people find it hard to live here.
But maybe I need a little reprise at this point and recognise that while pain is a sensory experience, suffering is abstract. So where do I go now? I don’t know. I don’t know anything.