Jesus + A Tree= I’ve Been Set Free!
By; Carletta Traylor aka C.N.
We’re free! We’re free! We can do backflips up and down our driveways (watch us fall and break our necks. Haha jkjkjk), with no shoes on (they better not smell like your uncle’s sweaty armpits-that isn’t cute. Haha), with our heads looking like Buckwheat (my kinks are free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, they are free at last!), because we’re free! Happy 4th of July, everyone! This is the time of year where we Americans celebrate breaking free from Great Britain (dawww, look at the widdle 13 U.S. colonies! They’re so adorable!), becoming our own independent nation, and having an excuse to pop RIDICULOUSLY LOUD fireworks all hours of the night (wake me up out of my sleep, and I promise you, we’ll be fighting. Haha jkjkjk…sort of).
While there’s nothing wrong with firing up the grill (let the unexpected bonfires begin!) and trying to squeeze into that red, white, and blue shirt that’s 4 sizes too small for you (for goodness sake! Put some clothes on! You’ll scare the children! Haha jkjkjk Jesus and I still love you. Haha), let us always remember one thing: the 4th of July (and any country’s Independence Day for that matter) is not our first Independence Day, but the second. The FIRST Independence Day took place over 2,000 years ago when our Lord and Savior (and God’s son), Jesus Christ, died on the Cross for our sins, that those of us who believed in him would not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 (KJV)).
When Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s cross over 2,000 years ago (and rose from the dead 3 days later), he defeated Satan, Hell, death, and the grave (Hallelujah!). Christ’s blood washes away all of our sins-we are no longer slaves to our sins (break every chain, break every chain, break everrrryyyy chhhaiinnnnnnn!), we are now longer trapped in our sins, we no longer have to live in sin (saying, doing, not doing, and/or thinking bad things); we have been freed from our sins, y’all (pop the fruit juice (make sure that it’s cold first!)!)! Oh, happy day (oh, happy day!)! Oh, happy day….)! As I may have mentioned a time or two before (or every chance that I get. Haha), living for Jesus and truly being free is as simple as ABC:
- Admit that we’re sinners, and ask God to please forgive us of our sins and help us to stop sinning (Please clean me up, Lord! I’m hot garbage, dipped in excrement, sprinkled in chitling grease on the inside (just STANKY!)!).
- Believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son, that he died on the Cross for our sins, that he rose from the dead (3 days later) with all power in his hands, that’s he’s in Heaven with God Almighty, and that he’s coming back to get his children and to judge/destroy this world.
- Commit ourselves to following Jesus Christ (listen to him and live for/like him forevermore).
When we do these things, y’all, we’ll be free (sin can drown at the bottom of Lake Michigan, BOY! Haha), we’ll be saved (Batman ain’t got NUTHIN on Jesus Christ!), and Heaven will be our home (ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cuz a Holy Ghost party don’t stop! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Haha)! Although we’re still in the middle of my “Are These Women Crazy?!” series, in light of today being Independence Day, we’re going to turn to our first (and much greater) Independence Day, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’s crucifixion is recorded in all four Gospels of the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), and I will be referencing all four books in today’s post (you can’t capture Jesus’s greatness in just one book, Bruh! He’s the MAN, the BAWSE (that’s slang for boss. Haha), the BOMB.com, the DON, the real O.G. (the Only God), and our Lord and Savior! Haha). As Jesus was teaching the people about the Kingdom of God during his three year earthly ministry, the Roman government (those fungus-loving toe rags) became threatened by Jesus’s ever increasing influence (more and more Jews correctly believed that he was the true Savior of the world; the one and only Messiah) and tried to stop him once and for all. With the help of that no good, backstabbing, trash bag disciple, Judas Iscariot, the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus and accused him of rebelling against the government (Aeh! Incorrect!).
Jesus was brought before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, but Pontius couldn’t find anything wrong with Jesus-he was a perfect man, had never sinned, and had committed no wrong. He was a spineless (extra tarty) Twizzler, however, and feared the Jewish crowds; he decided to let them choose who to kill-Jesus, or a murderous traitor named Barabbas. The people had just recently joined the Butt-Sniffing, Scum of the Earth Society, and due to this, they chose to spare Barabbas and kill Jesus (are you morons kidding me?! Jesus is INNOCENT! Can I run them all over with my car?! Please?! Please?!).
As such, Jesus was brutally (and publicly) beaten with a leather whip (he endured 39 whips to his back, which tore skin, left him bloody and bruised, as well as severely weakened), struck in the head with a staff, spit on, and mocked (OOOH! I just want to punt them in the head right now! Field goal! Haha). To add insult to injury, those Roman buttwipes put a crown of thorns on Jesus’s head and forced him to carry his own cross up a hill to Calvary (also called Golgotha, known as the “place of a skull”); Jesus was too weak to carry his cross, so a man named Simon of Cyrene was “picked” to help him carry it up the hill (thank you, Simon! You’re so thoughtful…NOT!).
Once at Calvary, those dookie dots, I mean Romans, offered Jesus a mixture of vinegar, gall and myrrh to help relieve the suffering he would endure (ain’t that some mess?! Hey, Jesus! We’re going to murder you for absolutely no reason at all, but here’s some spiked juice to help you with the pain! LOSERS!), but Jesus refused (I’m God, clown! I don’t need your dinky pain relievers! I was born for this!). The Romans then drove nails into Jesus’s wrists and feet, pinning him to the Cross; he was placed between two criminals (a man named Gestas to the left of Jesus, and a man named Dismas to the right of Jesus; of course Jesus was in the middle! He’s the most important person there!).
Do y’all know that those jamokes had the NERVE to inscribe “This Is Jesus, The King Of The Jews” above Jesus’s head, in an attempt to mock him (he was the world’s Messiah, you butt-backwards imbeciles!)?! Give me a tank, a cannon, and five minutes with them, and I’ll…can it, Carletta! This isn’t about you! Sorry. Haha. The people (including Gestas and Dismas) wanted Jesus to prove that he was the Son of God, saying the following:
Matthew 27:40-43 (KJV)-And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
Who do these peasants think they are?! Who are they to challenge Jesus to come down from the Cross and prove his lordship?! While Jesus had the power to save himself from death, he knew that it was his Father’s (God Almighty’s) will for him to die for our sins—only a perfect (sinless) sacrifice would wipe away our sins and bring us back to God the Father, and Jesus was the only man who fit that description. As such, Jesus never said a mumbling word about coming down from the Cross, saving himself, or avoiding death (thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!).
Jesus’s crucifixion was long and painful (roughly 6 hours long), but in an incredibly humbling and selfless act, he made the following request of his Father (God Almighty):
Luke 23:34 (KJV)–Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
That’s right, folks! Jesus was being unmercifully murdered on a wooden cross, but he still loved and cared enough about his murderers (the Jewish people/Roman government) to ask God to please forgive them. Wow! He’s much better than I am, y’all (I’d like to be that selfless and forgiving, but I’m not there yet (God is working on me, though. Haha). I’d have some extra colorful language (i.e. not my Sunday School language. Haha) for those nimrods; do you kiss your mother with that mouth?! Haha)!
In typical sleaze-ball fashion, the Roman soldiers (those royal dipsticks!) followed up Jesus’s heartfelt plea with gambling: they took and cast lots for Jesus’s clothes and robe (i.e. they rolled dice to see who would get Jesus’s garments; you all DISGUST me!!!!!) and the people continued to insult and make fun of Jesus (Wooh! Just let me hit them one good time between the eyes (right in that FOREHEAD!), Muhammad Ali style! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, baby! Haha). Not everyone thought that Jesus was full of it, however, as the thief to the right of Jesus, Dismas, repented of his sins; Dismas believed that Jesus Christ was the world’s Messiah, and he asked Jesus to remember him when he came back (i.e. he asked Jesus to take him to Heaven with him). Jesus assured Dismas that he would indeed be with him in Heaven (Hallelujah! Take that, you soggy seaweeds!).
Jesus also had a few more supporters in attendance, as his family and disciples witnessed his crucifixion (Team Jesus all day, baby! Get the Gatorade!). Jesus spoke to his mother, Mary, and one of his disciples, John, from the Cross; he told Mary to go with John (John 19: 26 (KJV)–Woman, behold thy son!), and told John to take care of Mary as his own mother (John 19:27 (KJV)–Behold thy mother!). From this point on, John moved Mary into his home and took care of her (Jesus was a good son, y’all! He was hanging from a cross in excruciating pain, yet he still loved his mother and wanted to make sure that she was well taken care of. Take notes, kids!).
At roughly 3 o’clock in the afternoon on that fateful Friday, Jesus cried out to God and asked the following question:
Matthew 27:46 (KJV)–And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
This is a very important moment. As we all know, Jesus Christ is God’s son, and throughout Jesus’s earthly life (33 years), he always referred to God as “My Father.” God is perfect and holy, and he will not allow sin to enter into his holy Heaven. When Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, he took on our sins (like wearing a coat of sins), thus, causing a separation between himself and God Almighty (when we sin, we place a barrier between ourselves and God). This is the only time in history Jesus Christ has ever been separated from his Father, and as such, Jesus referred to him as “My God,” instead of “My Father.”
Dying on a cross takes a lot out of you, and as such, Jesus became thirsty (he simply said, I thirst-John 19:28 (KJV)). The Romans made themselves useful for once (you extra burnt biscuits!), filled a vessel with vinegar, dipped a sponge in the vessel, squeezed the vinegar on a hyssop (a type of flower), and gave it to Jesus to drink. At this moment, Jesus took his last breath; Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, had died.
Complete darkness suddenly covered the land (even those of us who aren’t blind bats would’ve be running into light poles, y’all! Haha), a powerful earthquake shook the entire earth (splitting it in half), and the bodies of the dead saints (those who had died for their faith in God) rose to life-they shall live with God Almighty and Jesus Christ in Heaven forever (I’m about to act like a sanctified fool, y’all! Who’s ready to start breakdancing in Jerusalem?! Haha)!
It was Roman custom to break the legs of all criminals to speed up their deaths (you all are so “kind!” How will I ever repay you all for your unmatched compassion and consideration?! *Notice my sarcasm. I want to drop them all off of the Empire State Building…for real, though. Haha*). As such, the Roman soldiers broke the legs of Gestas and Dismas (can I break the soldiers’ faces?! PLEEAASEEEE?!?!?!?!?!), but given that Jesus was already dead (and not a criminal!), they did not touch his legs (but instead pierced his side-they didn’t want his dead corpse to feel left out. SMH). Before sunset on Friday, Jesus’s body was taken down by Nicodemus (a member of the Roman government) and Joseph of Arimathea (one of Jesus’s followers) and laid in Joseph’s tomb; a heavy stone was placed in front of the tomb to seal it (SPOILER ALERT! Jesus didn’t stay there very long! Hallelujah! Haha).
That, my homies and homeses (the female version of homies. Haha), is the story of Jesus’s crucifixion. Given how sacred and serious his death was, I will not attempt to make a modern-day remix of it (no worries, though! The “Are These Women Crazy?!” series and the modern-day remixes shall return on Monday! YYYEAAAAHHH, BUUUDDDDYYYYYY!!!!). I will, however, leave you all with a kid-friendly, YouTube video of Jesus’s crucifixion (“The Crucifixion of Jesus”-Sharefaith Kids (YouTube):
Enjoy your barbecue and fish sticks, everyone (get away from the pool with those fireworks, you crazy kids! Are y’all trying to blow us all up?! Come get your kids, Fred! Haha)! I love you all, God bless you all, and I’ll see you all on the next one!
14 thoughts on “Jesus + A Tree= I’ve Been Set Free!”
Hi Carletta. What a fabulous way to interpret Christ’s word. The children will love this. I hope you intend to bring out done in books soon. Jim
Sorry, I got to the bottom of your article and noticed you do have ebooks published with Amazon. I’ll take a look. Jim
Thank you so much, Jim! I do not have any published e-books of my own, but I do sell books with Amazon, Walmart, and a few lesser known companies. Feel free to check them out, though! God bless you!
Thank you so much, Jim! I definitely want the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s Word to be as fun and understandable as possible for everyone, children and adults alike. I’ll definitely keep them coming! God bless you!
It is hard to understand why they chose to kill Jesus and save Barabas. Jesus was considered a “threat” and they wanted him out of the way … I read that after Barabas was saved, he repented of his sins and became a good person, or something like that.
The Romans were cruel. Crucification was a terrible and slow way to die. After Spartacus’s uprising, they crucified thousands of slaves in just one day …
Thank you so much, Christine! The Romans/Jews were lawless and wanted to live a sinful, care-free life, and Jesus was in the way of that (he wanted them to put the sin behind them and live for God). While the Bible does not say what happened to Barabbas after he was released, I could certainly believe that he repented of his sins and turned to Jesus-the Bible says that many realized after Jesus’s death that he was the true Son of God. I’ve studied death by crucifixion, and it was absolutely barbaric (unheard of, excruciating pain and suffering); the government was completely ruthless in those days. I read about Spartacus’s uprising, and it floored me-we at least know that there are people who are willing to die for what they believe in (to die is to gain). Praise God that death by crucifixion is no longer legal! God bless you!
I feel so enlightened every time I read these stories. I have much appreciation and respect towards you and this website as you’ve made it a place of love and learning for children and others!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Aminah! I’ve always wanted learning about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Bible to be as fun, enjoyable, understandable, and relatable as possible, for children and adults alike. I love God, love to laugh, and love people-why not combine all three for the glory of God? Haha God bless you!
Thank you for reminding us of what’s really important! Easter is the REAL Independence Day!
Thank you so much, Cynthia! Jesus’s death and resurrection certainly are the real Independence Day-BBQ, spaghetti and fireworks aren’t enough to celebrate God’s goodness! Haha God bless you!
This is an amazing interpretation of a very brutal story for children. It is so important for our children to learn this story, and know what Jesus’s mission and what his cause was. Apart from his disciples and the people he surrounded himself with, nobody believed in him or his message. He was trying to change things for the better, and people fear change. But, he was willing to give his life to advance his cause which is the ultimate sacrifice of the most ultimate leader our world has ever known.
Our children need to know Jesus’s message and we need to help them to want to follow them. It’s important we don’t force them to follow Jesus, but we must do out best to teach them so they can make their own decision.
Thank you for sharing your stories and your own message. It is so inspiring.
Keep up the amazing work on your site.
All the best,
Thank you so much, Tom! Jesus Christ loved his Heavenly Father and us so much that he was willing to die an excruciatingly painful, embarrassing death to reconcile us back to the Father and give us a chance at eternal life (Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! God is good!). I want everyone, children and adults alike, to understand and appreciate what Jesus did for us on that fateful Friday-it was the turning point in human history (along with Jesus’s resurrection). If we repent of our sins, believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ask Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior, and follow him the rest of our days, we will not perish, but have everlasting life. I’m so happy that you enjoyed my story! God bless you!
It’s great that you are sharing these stories for the children to learn from.
I’m sure you’d have made it easier for parents to share these bedtime stories as well.
Keep it up!
Thank you so much, Sam! I love to and will continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s Holy Word through this website. God bless you!