All the media attention back in 2009 about Michael Jackson's death and funeral got me thinking about the murder of John Lennon in 1980, and the almost mystical media event that became. Both of these celebrity deaths created the kind of absurd world-wide attention that implicitly gives them the same media significance as the death of Christ.
I realize this is arguable, especially since--at the time--the death of Jesus Christ was a pretty localized event, and it wasn't until after His resurrection and ascension that his disciples spread the news through the whole Roman world. It's hard to say what would have happened if Jesus had come and died at a time in the day of satellite TV and "The Web 2.0." (The original Star Trek explored this phenomenon a bit in "Bread and Circuses," but that was more about the Rome persecuting followers of the "Son" than about the actual death of Jesus. "A" for effort, I guess. I guess the media coverage Leonard Nimoy's recent death has me thinking about TOS again. See what I mean?)
What strikes me about the attention celeb deaths get is that people are still looking for a savior, or at least someone they can make into a savior, 2000 years after the only True Savior came, died, was raised, and ascended back to heaven. Personally, I have a great appreciation for and attraction to music and musicians, but I look to neither for deliverance from my sins nor my troubles. Strangely enough, I hardly think our musical heroes think of themselves as saviors. Bruce Springsteen warns that we should not "Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets." Patti Smith is yet more cynical and bitter when she sings "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine." Can these quasi-magical people save us when they can't seem accept that salvation even exists for them?
Since it is unlikely that the current media will suddenly look back to the death of Jesus and think they have a scoop, it is still up to the disciples of Jesus--us, for those who believe--to continue spreading the word to everyone we can.
We need to steal back the Savior from the media with only the power of His Word and His Spirit. Wait, did I say "only"???? Hmmmm...... the media has technology and we have the Eternal God. Ba'al had 400 prophets and Yahweh had Elijah. Rome had a thousand legions and Jesus had 12 disciples. And what has actually survived to the present? Or, rather Who?
Could it be that we need to steal back the history of the Savior as well? (If only for our own assurance?)
Later in Christ,