Further Thoughts on Good Friday (or Who DIDN’T kill Love)

Continuing some thoughts from this morning:

If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, as Christians do in one way or another, the guilt can rest in one of two places:

1) On all of humankind, as I emphasized this morning

or

2) On God.

While I absolutely believe option 1, I think that a lot of people inadvertently believe option 2. Take, for example, the popular Christian song “In Christ Alone.” The lyrics in the third verse suggest that, in the Cross, “…the wrath of God was satisfied.”

That makes for some really, really troubling theology.

Whoever calls for the death of an innocent person is truly wicked, influenced by true evil. While it is profoundly uncomfortable for me to acknowledge that I killed the innocent Jesus because of, as The Book of Common Prayer says,  my “manifold sins and wickedness”, it is absolutely unconscionable to cast that guilt on God, who is beyond Good, beyond Just, beyond Merciful.

This narrative is moderating. Fundamentalist Christians take comfort in God’s wrath being satisfied. New Agers are quick to shuck off any sort of blame or talk of sin.

Entering into Jesus’s crucifixion allows me to own my own sins–to take full credit for my sin, to acknowledge that my sin has real and lasting consequences. It also allows me to affirm the glorious goodness of God, the everlasting mercy of God, the abiding justice of God.

Good Friday allows God to be God: truly Good, truly Just, truly Merciful.

And it allows me to be me: truly human, truly sinful, truly redeemed.

Amen.

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