Remember in season four of Game of Thrones when Tyrion was on trial and he demanded trial by combat but no one would fight for him? Prince Oberyn (remember? The slutty pansexual sand prince?) ended up doing it for his own personal revenge but no one wanted to fight specifically for Tyrion. To save his life and clear his name. No one wanted to lose their life for him. No one thought him worth it. Not even his own brother.
Tyrion was facing death and he was alone because no one would be his champion.
Sometimes I realize I’m Tyrion. Imprisoned, facing death, sneered at and looked down upon, with no one to be my champion.
I think a lot of us can relate to this. Not on a crazy Game of Thrones level, of course, but we can feel alone. Like we have no champion.
Except I have a champion. Jesus.
And he’s not just my champion. Jesus, for no selfish personal gain, took our place and became our champion.
And he continues to. Over and over. I believe Jesus is the champion of all. He is the champion of the underdog, of the imprisoned, of the unloved. He is the champion of the marginalized.
In my most recent Podcast, we talked about feminism and I made my argument that I believe Jesus is a feminist. I believe he is the champion of women and we see this in the pages of the Bible. If he has taken our place and become the champion of all, then that includes women.
There a dozen reasons I believe Jesus was a great feminist of his time, including that Jesus challenged the conventional patriarchy of his culture and he depended upon the ministry of women and wasn’t ashamed of receiving their ministry in public. Jesus redefined the ways humans relate to one another by receiving cultural outcasts into his community and broke the conventional boundaries of his culture by including women as teachers and disciples. And etc. You can get more details about these reasons in the podcast.
But the reason I find this idea so important and worth discussing is I believe this is essential to understanding Jesus’s character.
We live in a broken world. A place where bad things happen to good people. A place where good people don’t really exist because we are all sinful and broken and selfish. A place where people climb to the top, taking power for themselves, by stepping on the face of others.
We live in a world where people feel cast aside and alone, facing certain death for crimes they didn’t commit because no one will be their champion.
We live surrounded by injustice, pain, oppression, fear, and death.
Our world is constantly in a state of civil war. Political sides fighting. People fighting oppression and injustice and people claiming that injustice and oppression don’t exist. Where agendas and beliefs constantly trump people because people are seen as nothing more than their agendas and beliefs.
We live in a world of racism and sexism and homophobia and terrorism.
And we will always be at the mercy of that world.
Until a champion steps in.
A champion named Jesus.
The champion for the lost and the broken. For the hurting and in pain. For the women and people of color. For the LGBT people traditional minded people.
The champion who does not choose sides and is not subjected to the rules and brokenness of this world.
It’s important to show how Jesus is a feminist because it is his nature. To fight for justice. To challenge conventional culture that thrives off the injustice and oppression fo others.
It’s important to show Jesus as the champion because too many people are in a cell, afraid and alone because no one else will fight for them and they need to know that Jesus always will.
Even if the church fails them, Jesus never will.