Shame On You to See Your Naked God
In the current times of new formulae of digital art consumption there is still an indelible image. It is possibly one of the most represented scenes in history in the different artistic forms. In my life I ignored it regularly, but I also admired it and cried in front of it wondering -and asking- about the reason for such a historical event that became an artistic cultural icon.
A few days ago, I returned with my mind to look at that carpenter from Nazareth turned prophet, dead on the cross. But for the first time I saw him completely naked. I saw a God without power or magnificence, without glories or wonders. Lonely, forgotten, silent, crestfallen… Inert! He had no loincloth and there were no barriers between God and his creation. The king of the Jews was naked, just as he was.
To hang there unprotected as he came into the world, he had had to endure torture, ridicule, beatings and insults. That could not be God, he was a simple delirious man from a poor town who took his madness to the torture of the cross. No king, ruler or God allows such insolence and recklessness from his subjects, people or descendants.
The men who oversaw the torture mocked him, his manhood and his nakedness because they were sure that this could not be God. That is why the insults, the blows, the spitting and the laughter continued. He was a simple man beaten to pieces and he was not God, because an eternal God cannot die. God is person, supreme, omnipotent, creator of the universe, omnipresent, omniscient, real, omnibenevolent, spiritual, principle of everything and eternal!
God chooses to die. God humbles himself and travels the greatest distance ever travelled, from eternity to the cross. God is afraid. God is killed. God speaks and then is silent. The deafening silence of the cross, the complete nudity and the manifest loneliness express the greatest paradox ever accomplished. We see the Being stripped of his attributes: inferior, weak, useless, absent, ignored, fictitious, sad, carnal, dead.
Men should feel ashamed before that image. Because …the best quality of man, that is the mother and head of all others, is shame; because of shame man suffers death, which is the worst thing that exists, and out of shame we stop doing things that do not seem good, although we would have very much wanted to do them. Therefore, in shame are the beginning and the end of all good qualities, and out of shame we move away from vices (…) because out of shame man is frank, hardworking and of good habits: for it he does every good deed. And bear in mind that all things are done more out of shame than out of desire. Also, out of shame man stops doing all the bad things that his will proposes to him. For this reason, it is good for a man to feel ashamed if he does what he shouldn’t and fails to do what is due.*
Today I looked again at the nakedness of my God. I felt the shame of not having seen God the many times I saw that image.
- * El Conde Lucanor / Don Juan Manuel; edición y versión actualizada de Juan Vicedo. Publicación: Alicante: Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2004.