“God has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” — Isaiah 61:1 (Inclusive Language Lectionary)
God’s solidarity with people amid human suffering is emphasized from the first painting in 24-panel series “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by Douglas Blanchard. Right away we see that Jesus is an attractive young man of today. This will be no ordinary Stations of the Cross, with a hopelessly distant Jesus moving predictably from trial to tomb. Blanchard’s vision starts at a different point and features an accessible Jesus that 21st-century readers can know and touch. As often happens with contemporary LGBT people, his gay identity is not obvious most of the time.
Jesus stands half-naked in blue jeans and handcuffs with a pair of Old Testament prophets in a dark prison cell. A barred window behind an arch gives him a crude halo. His warm, pink flesh is bleeding. In a contemporary form of dehumanization, Jesus is labeled with a number, “124,” hanging on a tag around his neck. Names painted on the sides of the frame identify the two men from the Hebrew scriptures: Job on the right and Isaiah on the left. Their presence signals that themes of suffering and justice will run through this series. The gay vision of Christ’s Passion promises to address the suffering of queer people today — and thereby speak to the human condition.
-full reflection at Jesus in Love Blog. (Gay Passion of Christ series).