Choosing a work of art that has to do with the themes of religion and the problem of evil was actually much more difficult than I expected. Absolutely nothing came to mind when I read the assignment directions, and I really had to sit there and think about all the forms of art I was familiar with and whether any of them even remotely relate to religion and evil. At first, my mind went toward poems and short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, but his works never dealt with religion, only darkness, sadness, and evil.
After a few hours of contemplating, I realized that the answer was right in front of me all along, it was all over the Felician campus, in my home, and in my church; this “work of art” was Jesus hanging on the cross. Choosing this as my work of art does not mean that I think Jesus or the cross represents evil, it’s the events leading up to Jesus ending up on the cross that signifies evil and hatred. From my understanding of the Bible, the Jewish leaders felt threatened by Jesus and his ability to spread love and happiness.Order now
His ability to perform miracles over powered anything that could be done by the Jewish leaders, so they had him tried in front of Pontius Pilate, who actually didn’t even find any fault in Jesus. When the crowd was chanting for Jesus to be crucified, Pilate responded saying “Why, what evil has He done? ” (Matthew 27:22-23). The Jews continued shouting for Jesus to be crucified, and in order to please his people, he washed himself of his sins relating to the judgement of Jesus and ruled that He should be crucified.
This was just the beginning of the evil that took place leading to Jesus hanging on the cross. The physical evil done to Him makes up quite a list. They stripped his clothes, placed of crown of thorns on his head, spat on Him, hammered nails into both his arms and his feet, and lastly was pierced on His side with a sword to confirm His death (Matthew 27:27-32). Reading these horrible acts would make everyone question why bad things happen to those who don’t deserve it, and I think that Kushner makes a great point when he says “The facts of life and death are neutral.
We, by our responses, give suffering either a positive or a negative meaning” (Kushner 151). Jesus did go through the most intense form of torture leading to His death, but it wasn’t all for nothing, He was doing it to be sent to Heaven and send a message to his believers. So although Jesus lying on the cross doesn’t directly imply evil, the events leading up to Him being tortured and nailed to the cross is what does.