Son of God? Great Teacher? Fiery rabbi revolutionary? False Messiah? Last prophet before Muhammad? Incarnation of the Buddah? Who? Jesus, called The Christ. For many millions of Christians the answer is not in debate. Two thousand years down the line, Easter is as vibrant and joyous as ever - sacrifice, death, resurrection. A new beginning ...
Wherever one stands on the curve, the teachings of this man, whomever he was, stands the test of time, and (for me) stands alone. The message of love which flows out from the words attributed to Jesus are for me the greatest lessons and most empathetic utterances I have ever heard. At great variance with so much of what The Christian Church (or parts of it anyway) propounds, simple yet utterly profound injunctions like "Love they neighbour as thyself" say it all.
Loving your neighbour as much as you love yourself means that whatever freedoms of choice you allow yourself, you need to allow your fellow man. So no judgement and no condemnation. And those less fortunate than ourselves? "Whatsoever thou doest unto one of these the least of my brethren, thou doest unto me". So no apartheid for a start! And certainly no denying the basic rights, which we enjoy, to anyone else. Of course, The Church, Man's church, meaning the men of the church, will interpret these verses as they wish to. But the hackneyed question, "What would Jesus do?" is really effective, if we see Jesus as the man of love and peace, and it gives the lie to so much dogma and doctrine.
So I suppose what I am trying to say about Easter is, whatever your beliefs, it is a great time to enjoy new beginnings. God is within you, the Universe all around you ... starting afresh is within your grasp, and Easter is a particularly inspiring time to start. May the blessings of the season be yours and the promise of your future be realised. Buona Pasqua!