“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
The MA Theology and MA Catechetics and Evangelization programs. posted a series of ads to Facebook. One ad was rejected, and an administrator of our Facebook page noticed this rejection today. The reason given for the rejection?
“Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content.”
Here is a screen capture of the notification (click for larger view):
Their ad was rejected because it contained:
- shocking content
- sensational content
- excessively violent content
What was the offending image?
The San Damiano Cross. Jesus in glory, reigning from his cruciform throne. This is what the monitors at Facebook consider excessively violent, sensational, and shocking.
And indeed, the Crucifixion of Christ was all of those things. It was the most sensational action in history: man executed his God.
It was shocking, yes: God deigned to take on flesh and was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
And it was certainly excessively violent: a man scourged to within an inch of his life, nailed naked to a cross and left to die, all the hate of all the sin in the world poured out its wrath upon his humanity.
“but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, an absurdity to Gentiles. But to those who are called, both Jew and Gentile, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)
As Father Mike Schmitz points out in today’s #ShareJesus message, it was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross: he was God, he could have descended from the Cross at any moment. No, it was love that kept him there. Love for you and for me, that we might not be eternally condemned for our sins but might have life eternal with him and his Father in heaven.
This is sensational, this is shocking. This is only possible because of the excessive violence that he endured for us.
“He was despised and rejected of men.” It was ever thus and will ever be, for those who do not see with the eyes of faith, and love with a love unquenchable.