Huzzah, Iain! I have no trouble dealing with the idea that my ancestors
"cared enough to send the very best" so to speak, nor that one or more of
them might have been the sendee instead of the sender. There are martyrs in
every religion, some of them just better known than others.
One of the reasons Christianity was so easily accepted in the Celtic mind was
because there were so many common threads. The idea of a sacrificed Sacred
King was nothing new, nor was the concept of Trinity. Everything important
happened in Triads. Jesus being the Son of God by a mortal woman? How about
Cuchulainn being the son of Lugh by Dechtiere?
So this Jesus was left hanging on a cross to die. Death suspended from the
ground was an ancient and honourable way to die as a sacrifice, one of the
triple deaths so often written about. And He was willing to die. Of course
He was. It was a requirement. How naturally all this would be accepted.
And he was a King, even if the lineage had to be bent around on both sides
to fulfill prophecy, and even if recognised by only a few people as such.
How could people of the Old Religion fail to embrace concepts which they
already held so dear?