As surprising and blasphemous as it might sound, Jesus Christ was a rebel. He was someone who always maintained his integrity, was compassionate toward others, a healer, and a reconciler. What makes Him a rebel is how He lived. Christ treated the poor and marginalized like human beings, equal to the others. He showed them what love was. The Gospels say this, but they also say the opposite. The Gospels also say that Christ was executed as a criminal, pretty much all alone, without His friends nearby to help him get through the trouble He was in, and without that feeling someone gets when they complete a mission they were sent on. But He did conquer death.
The very things he preached were things that caused Christ to be considered a rebel. The Gospels say that Jesus did not teach and preach in the same way as the scribes and the pharisees did. He taught with authority, but not citing traditions and the opinions of former rabbis. Christ taught in the form of parables and other patterns. He also preached that one should love one’s neighbor, regardless of their cultural, religious, or social status. Through the parable of the Good Samaritan, He challenged the societal understanding of who one’s neighbor was. “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10: 36-37). This, of course, caused the religious officials of the time to call Christ a blasphemer, but His point was brought across. Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Christ also shocked many by referring to God in terms that were affectionate, like Abba, the Aramaic word for ‘Father’, or more precisely, ‘Daddy’. He prayed prayers in public that were direct, not containing any flowery language or unnecessary words, different from the prayers of his religious contemporaries. He made his own conclusions about what was proper on the sabbath day, and even to the point where He would heal on the sabbath. Christ was not hesitant to make his views known, and He voiced those views in a sort of silent confidence that drove his opponents to madness. The things He did also reflected his confidence.
He had a sense of mission. It was never extremist, but it was fearless, which was a common trait that His actions shared. It gave Him His sense of authority that made people question “What does this all mean?” (Mark 1:27). But, His sense of authority was seen as a threat to the religious and political state of Israel. He did, however, side with the pharisees in upholding the law. But this was only to a certain point. This sort of friendship between Christ and the pharisees ended with His critique of how they interpreted the laws and His challenging some of their priorities.
They decided. Something had to be done about this rebel, Christ.
One of his friends turned Him in, betraying the one he supposedly loved for something he seemed to love more: monetary gain. And then they killed that rebel in one of the worst and most painful ways possible: crucifixion. They treated Christ like a criminal. But they took things to the extreme, practicing things that Christ would never practice. They spat on Him and mocked Him. The officials tortured him unnecessarily. The people instilled fear in most of the disciples, and Jesus was isolated from everyone, making Him “less of a threat”, if He ever was a threat. He hung there on the cross, dying, suffocating. In some accounts, it shows that Mary and John are at the foot of the cross, but Christ was alone in His suffering. Nobody else knew how much pain He was enduring. Just to save us from our sins.
Then He rose from the dead. He appeared to his disciples, and it surprised, and even scared some of them. But the disciples were given a mission: to continue the mission of Christ and become rebels like Him. They did, and that was how the Church was “born”, so to speak. Christians are meant to be a Church of rebels. Rebels being those who decided to live counter-culturally, and to suffer for the sake of another, being a suffering servant. We, as Christians, are called to live like Christ did.