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Jesus’ crucifixion: the greatest miscarriage of justice?

January 10, 2016

  

Been meaning to post something about this for a while.

Christians teach that the hope that their faith brings to the world is ultimately in the death of its leader, Jesus Christ.

They hold that a man who lived for around 33 years, who had only really “gone public” for around 3 years, who lived a perfect blameless life, but was nailed to a cross by the Romans, and pronounced dead 2000 years ago, is the one who, through that death, reopens the way for you and me to have a relationship with God.

Now of course many who do not share these beliefs may find it impossible to understand how all this can be relevant to their lives today.

But interestingly too it seems increasingly that Christians have difficulty in agreeing on what actually took place when Jesus died on the cross.

Traditional teaching is that this was more than just an unfortunate miscarriage of Justice, although it was certainly that as a minimum.

The Bible teaches that the cross of Jesus is part of the plan. That Jesus actually dies a death that should have been for you and me. He is our substitute. The Bible talks, amongst other things, about Jesus becoming sin for us. God laying all our wrongdoing on him and punishing him, his one and only son.

Increasingly it seems Christians are finding this idea offensive. What kind of God is it we worshIp, who would do this to his own son? We must be wrong about this.

I am sure there are many who could do better, but I thought I would try to find a way to think about this.

Let us assume we live in a country where there is capital punishment. I am guilty of a crime which is worthy of death. Banged to rights. Even I won’t try to deny it. But what if the judge offers me a way out?

“See that beggar over there? I am happy to send him to the gallows instead of you. You can walk free.”

Now that is totally unfair, an outrage to pick on an innocent bystander.

Or suppose the judge offers, ” I have a son. He would be happy to take your place. He will be executed  instead of you”. 

We might well ask what kind of judge this is who would stoop so low with his own flesh and blood.

And if we leave it there? With Jesus as a helpless victim of injustice and misdirected anger?

But we can’t leave it there.

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God. 

But it actually goes further than that!

It tells us that he IS God.

God in a human body. God come to live among us. God come to rescue us.

The trinity is a mystery,  an idea that certain religious sects will treat with scorn.

But Christianity believes in one God. But a God with three personalities.

Father Son and Holy Spirit. The trinity is for another discussion!

But when Jesus died on that cross, he was not the victim. 

He was a willing volunteer. 

He is God and man, feeling a sense of darkness and loneliness that he had never felt before.

So in the darkness God felt the pain.

God is not guilty of child abuse. He is not somehow disconnected from all this.

But in Jesus he offers himself.

He takes our punishment. “How deep the father’s love for us”.

That’s a sacrifice I gladly accept so that I can be free.

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From → Christianity

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