Whenever I walk into most church buildings there is almost always a familiar scene that puzzles me, sometimes it's a wax sculpture, sometimes it is on stained glass, but most often it is painted on a beautiful mural: a white guy with blue eyes and shredded abs whose wrists and ankles are nailed onto a cross.
It always makes me wonder: who crucified Brad Pitt?
Of course, I know they are trying to depict Jesus on the cross dying for our sins, but the whitewashing makes me thing that the artist although very skilled did not know who Jesus was nor what he did.
Who was Jesus Christ?
Jesus of Nazareth born of immaculate conception to Mary of the House of Levi was a Jew who by profession was a carpenter before he became a religious leader in the land of Judea a Roman protectorate.
Before His birth, his family had to flee from Bethlehem to Egypt because they faced persecution from a tyrant called Herod "the Great". His family and by extension Him were refugees in Egypt fleeing political persecution.
He grew up in the first century AD in a desert, in a time where poor people spent most of their time working outside and getting their skin scorched by the sun. Judea was not a land particularly know for being wealthy, nor was the ground fertile (it was a dessert after all), most people were not well fed and mass famine and disease was not an uncommon occurrence.
In the four gospels, Jesus is never described as physically attractive, muscular or tall and He is certainly never described as having a chiseled jaw, a flowing mane, or washboard abs. Although Jesus was described to be incredibly powerful, He raised the dead, healed the blind, and cured leppers, after all, no one was mistaking him for an NBA star or Mr. Olympus. When Jesus is described as beautiful it is in reference to His ideas, character, and actions - not His deep blue eyes.
What did He look like and why it matters.
The picture below depict what historians believe the average person in Judea looked like in the first century AD and most likely what Jesus of Nazareth looked like, probably not the hunk most people were expecting.