Jesus was a colored man.
Jesus dressed like the homeless man he was, the same clothes, day after day.
Jesus didn’t shave, or have his beard professionally maintained, it grew willy-nilly, everywhichaway.
Jesus wore his hair in dregs.
Jesus smelled of the sweat of the laborer he was.
Jesus had teeth stained from tea and wine and lack of dental care.
Jesus talked back to the pompous and self-righteous, to the corrupt lawmakers and the prosperity preachers.
Jesus surrounded himself with the downtrodden, the working men and women who couldn’t catch a break.
Jesus ranted like the mentally ill, claiming he was the Son of God, that he was the Savior of the world, crazy man.
Jesus was a bum; who slept on floors in the homes of people he barely knew, sometimes in a boat, sometimes on a beach.
Jesus ate with his fingers, picking through platters of fish and local vegetables, offering a piece of bread to his friends.
Jesus wiped his mouth on the back of his forearm, sometimes on the front of his tunic.
Jesus was arrested, loitering outside the church doors, thrown face down into the street, chained and jerked to his feet.
Jesus was hauled into court without a lawyer, without any defense at all, nobody to testify on his behalf, to declare him good.
Jesus was a homeless man, put on trial for no other reason than just telling the truth.
Jesus was sentenced to death by a kangaroo court set up to punish people for being poor, for being mentally ill, for being kind, for caring about others, for seeking social justice, or justice of any kind.
Jesus was hauled before a mob of angry religious bigots, people who deemed themselves better than a colored man, a dirty Jew.
Jesus covered his head as they threw rocks at him, beat at him with tree limbs, cursed him, spat loogies at him, shoved him down the steps, the way those Trumpers did Capitol police during the insurrection.
Jesus asked a friend to look after his momma as soldiers drug him off to be executed.
Jesus was a colored man, crucified by the local government for no other reason than for being a storyteller who told truths they were seeking to cover up.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Where’s Your Jesus Now? (Zondervan).