The Following image and words are taken from rejesus another website I’ve added to the top of my blog. Every now and then I will add an additional image from the site. This particular image was first shown to me by Robert Beckford a lecturer at Queen’s College where I trained for the ministry. It was shocking at the time but has become a more meaningful image over time. The words explain the background and meaning, and both have something to say to us today in our context.
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This image of Jesus as a black person comes from the Caribbean and from people whose ancestors were taken there as slaves from Africa. For them, picturing Jesus as a white person, looking like the traders and owners who enslaved them, is offensive, to say the least.
Instead, Jesus is shown as a Rasta, belonging to the popular culture of the Caribbean, and he appears as the one who liberates the people from their oppression and poverty.
This powerful face of Jesus is an image of Christian resistance against racism and injustice. It shows us Jesus as the one who spoke out against prejudice and who overturned the tables of the corrupt traders of his time – and who does the same in our time, too.
It’s the opposite of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild”. This is Jesus alive and angry about the way class, race and gender are used to destroy people’s lives. This is Jesus who said, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”