The following is an excerpt from an essay by Ziya Meral, a Turkish theologian and writer. I found this section particularly compelling as we consider, over this weekend, the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of the Jesus we Christians call Lord...
"When we turn our eyes to our God, we see his Son who stands in front of the angry crowd, declaring that he came to set the captives free, to restore the sick, poor and sinful... the outcasts, back to human community. We are told he is the one that leaves all of the flock behind to go after the lost sheep and that rejoices when one of the coins which were lost is found and is returned. At the very core of his gospel lies inclusion, restoration and integration of those who have been dehumanized by the religious saints, pure ones, the civilized, we. Much of his teachings criticise the hypocrisy of those who claim to know and love God when all the while their self-righteousness blinds them from the very core of knowing and loving God.
[This core] produces the Good Samaritan... eats and drinks with the 'unclean', sinful, weak and sick... chooses to forgive, show mercy and love, rather than wage a campaign of retribution and vengeance. In fact it is this core which Nietzsche despised the most about Christian faith. He saw this Christian reaction towards revenge and retribution to be decadence. That is why he didn't find the Christian notion of God 'noble'. He saw such a God who chooses mercy, forgiveness and inclusion, as unworthy of worship.
Jesus not only declares a completely opposite theology of relating to the 'other' who may have offended us, or may have even harmed us or may do so in the future, but also demands the same attitude from his followers. His imperative brings with it an automatic judgment, one will either hear his voice and follow his call or one will continue to develop a pure and godly we. One will either seek his face in the zone in which dehumanization takes place or amongst 'us' , which is in its worst form when we presume to see his face when we look into the water."