Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Jesus Died for Our Sins" - Misleading

To simply say, "Jesus died for our sins" removes the offense of the gospel.

If "dying for our sins" is the whole sum of the matter, then Jesus might have done well to let the hometown folks throw him off the cliff - "Here, we have some stones we'd like to introduce you to."

Or, better yes, follow Satan's advice and jump off the temple pinnacle, because he knew full well that, in spite of what Satan said, no angels would come to his defense, and he would die.

Or why not simply join up with John's denunciation of Herod and gone to prison to lose his head with John.

If "dying for our sins" is the sum of the matter.

But, if we say, accurately, that he died "because of our sins," then we might well have to ask: "What were the sins that killed him?"

If Rome killed him, for what reason?

For being a nice guy?

Saying nice things about love?

No, for raising serious questions about Rome itself, and how some in Israel had simply become a client state of Rome, enjoying Rome's largesse, settling for the god of mammon and adopting a cruel life style - like the forgiven servant who refused to forgive a fellow servant ... or the disciples who wanted to send the hungry away to fend for themselves.

It was the sins of Empire that killed him ... the power of the Empire to show who's boss, and the sins of those who signed on with the Empire to enjoy its benefits.

To say, "Jesus died for our sins" retains the offense of the gospel and opens up doorways of understanding that can only service to both humble us before Jesus and compel us to think serious before we say, "I'm a follower of Jesus."

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