So, have you ever thought of Star Trek as needing a parental advisory warning before an episode. I mean, in the late 80’s and into the 90’s Star Trek: TNG was as clean and family friendly as possible. I mean, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had the parental warning. Even shows on Nickelodeon had parental advisory warnings. Double Dare had advisory warnings. But Star Trek?
But they did. It’s the episode called Conspiracy. And it was from their first season. Usually first seasons on shows you are a bit careful. You hold back a bit because you want to slowly get them used to you. But no, not for TNG. In one of the last episodes of the first season they had this episode.
What’s so gory about it? Well, first it deals with parasites taking over top officials from Star Fleet headquarters. Well, that’s okay. Wrath of Kahn had something like that and it was rated PG. Well, not only did these parasites begin taking over top officials, they started killing off people and blowing up ships killing hundreds and thousands. That and when Riker went down to infiltrate them by pretending to be one of them, the parasites had the hosts eat a bunch of maggots.
Okay, gross but not needing a parental warning. So, why was it so awful that it needed a warning. It’s what happens next. (spoiler alert) The queen parasite was residing in a lower level officer a Star Fleet. Riker and Picard started chasing down a parasite and found it going into the mouth of the lower level officer. And as they got closer they saw that the parasites were in this officer. And so they started firing their phasers. And nothing happened. And then they fired their phasers even more. Nothing. And so they fired it more and the dude exploded. Guts everywhere. And this ugly worm looking thing. In the middle of the chest cavity of the now exploded dude. And then they fired their phasers on the bug and she went all exploded.
And that’s why something clean and nice as Star Trek: TNG had a parental warning.
What gets me, is that the Bible doesn’t have a parental warning. And it should. We make it out to be this nice clean book that we teach our kids. We gloss over the battle of Jericho and we gloss over David killing Goliath (how many times have you heard that David hit Goliath with the stone but not the fact that David chopped off Goliath’s head.) And they totally gloss over Jesus’ death on the cross. Yes, they tell my 6 year-old that Jesus died for him on the cross to save him from his sins but then they emphasize that he raised to life.
But that’s not the whole story. That’s the happy part of the TNG and even the Original Series. The goryness of it all isn’t shown. Just like in Star Trek, the goryness wasn’t shown until Deep Space 9 and not many people could handle it. And so Voyager brought back the happy.
But Jesus dying on the cross for our sins isn’t the TNG happy or the Voyager happy. It’s the DS9 angst and struggle.
When the movie The Passion of the Christ came out, it had an R rating. Why? Because of the blood and gore. Jesus’ crucifixion was awful. And the pain leading up to it was pretty bad too. They beat him senseless until you could hardly know where the bruises ended and the face began. They whipped him with a roman whip that had glass and metal in it so that it would tear the flesh. His flesh would have been so ripped up that the bone and muscle would’ve been showing. And then they made him carry a cross to the place where they were going to execute him.
They nailed a nine inch nail into both hands and one into his feet. They lifted him up high and then dropped the cross into a deep hole, jarring his body, dislocating a number of his bones. With his arms spread out as they were, it became hard to breathe. In order for him to breathe, he had to lift himself up. Flies buzzed around your head, laying maggots in yoru wounds. Birds came down and pecked at you. People didn’t die from crucifixion, they suffocated to death, they died of starvation. They died of trauma to their bodies. They died by being exposed to the elements.
This wasn’t the happy Jesus people liked. This wasn’t the Jesus is my homeboy. This wasn’t the Jesus in my heart. This was the suffering savior who truly died for us on the cross.
Now, something interesting happened to Star Trek. It’s called First Contact. Soon into the series, they introduced a species called the Borg. They were mean. They were cruel. And in the movie First Contact, Picard had to face his own demons. And he was dark. He went down a path so dark, I was shocked at first. He was no longer clean and happy. He was real. He was human.
I don’t like the happy Jesus I see all over the place. Yes, it’s nice and comforting. Yes, it shows him in his resurrected state. But even in his resurrected state, he still had his wounds to which Thomas touched and believed.His wounds, though not bleeding, were there. They were evident of his suffering for us.
So, I ask you, look at him not as the happy but as the one who was hurt for you. He still bears the wounds he took for you when he was nailed on the cross. Do you want this real Jesus? He is yours for the asking.