94 Christ figures in ancient mythology: Prometheus

prometheus christ


Recount the Titan who stole fire from heaven and willingly sacrificed himself for humanity. How does this classical Greek myth have incredible resonace with the mission and passion of Jesus Christ?

Excerpt from episode:

“… There’s something both moving and graphic about the scene where Prometheus is chained to a rock in the mountains, cruciform fashion mind you, and an eagle is sent to torture him daily by peck out at his liver which grew back overnight. If you’re emotionally affected in some way by this scene… good. It is type of reaction we should be having when we look at the crucified Christ upon the cross, side pierced by the lance (incidentally, our livers are also on the right side of the body, where Jesus would also have been pierced). See, we’ve become so desensitised to the image of Christ upon the cross that we have often developed a sort of compassion fatigue. But the reality is, the cross is a reminder of how much God loves humanity, his beloved creation, which he also created out of the clay and breathed his very life into. To give us a chance to live and to flourish, he offered up his own body as a sacrifice for us. Like how Zeus taunted Prometheus with the option of being unshackled if only he would give over his creation to him, the taunts of the thieves and passer byers would tell Jesus to come down off the cross, at the cost of humanity’s salvation. As the saying goes, it wasn’t the nails that kept our saviour upon the cross, rather it was his love. The detail about Prometheus’ ongoing sacrifice for humanity – seemingly for eternity – also has deep Christian resonance. For in the vision that St John has of heaven in the book of Revelation, he actually sees Jesus the lamb that was slain who is at once standing on the throne. St Paul tells us that Christ’s one sacrifice, while complete at calvary, continues to be offered for all mankind – he is the one true high priest – who offers sacrifice on behalf of all of us. Perhaps the sacrifice of P then, can help us get in touch with the sheer extent Jesus really does love us – lest we ever doubt that our sinfulness or unworthiness could ever be a deterrent to God loving us … “