"Jesus Christ"

Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJesus, "the Good Shepherd" - Credit: Toby Hudson

Anglicized name and title (“Yehoshua” or “Joshua” means “Yahweh delivers” or saves; and “Christus” derives from the Greek term for “Anointed One,” a translation from the Hebrew word for “Messiah”) of a Hebrew teacher who lived in Judea (present-day Israel) and became the central figure of Christianity.

The image at right is a stained glass depiction of Jesus as "the Good Shepherd," at St. John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia.

Jesus is invoked by the narrator of Unbearable Lightness in a metaphor during the discussion of Nietzsche's eternal return. If everything that happens is destined to happen again, over and over, an infinite number of times, then "we are nailed to eternity as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross."

Jesus is mentioned again much later, after Tomas meets Simon, his grown-up son from his first marriage. A Christian, Simon loves the remark from the Bible that is attributed to Jesus: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." When Simon and the editor praise Tomas for the article he wrote on Oedipus and collaborators with the Communist dictatorship, Tomas objects; he has become less of a hard-liner, and says, "Punishing people who don't know what they've done is barbaric."

This reminds Simon of Jesus, and after Tomas's death he gives his father a gravestone with the inscription "He Wanted the Kingdom of God on Earth," although the narrator intimates that this is another example of kitsch.