Friday, April 6, 2012

By His Stripes

Friday thoughts on crucifixion, wrath and justice...

It is human hatred, violence, and sinfulness
That is purged by Jesus' stripes.
God 'forsakes' Jesus into the hands of man! - 
"Do to him as you will... break him if you can..."

This is not a need for vengeance by God
Nor the blood lust of God being appeased
But rather the sinful bloodlust of humans
Which is finally satiated. *

Walking on water was the easier part
Taking darkness out of every heart
Into His own this is alone
Keeping vigil  (Lyric by Jim Croegaert)
So Jesus dies with "father forgive them" on his lips
Defeating Satan in that instance.

Had Satan managed to turn God's love for us,
Away from us, through Jesus Christ
Then we humans would have ceased to exist and 
Satan would have won his quest to destroy us.**

So Satan cries out (ala Mel Gibson's movie) in defeat! not victory....
And human bloodlust is absorbed into the heart of God.
And God prevails in that Jesus loves us unto death!
And our story goes on.... our future is secured.

note* - We see and experience this human blood lust in every human cry for justice that looks more like revenge.  I spit out angry thoughts against someone who offends me.  And I would in my moment of justifiable, self-righteous rage vent emotional damage towards that person, because I am a sinner.  Yet even I have some limits.  For example, if someone offended me by cutting me off in traffic, and then suddenly a vigilante appeared and began acting out my anger in physical violence upon the offender, I would very quickly become shocked and horrified and intervene to stop the beating.  "Too much! Too much!" I would cry. ... Even my blood lust over most offences, can be satiated.

Yet there is an even greater cry for justice caused by even more horrendous crimes.  This is expressed in a song by Steve Bell: Somebody's Gotta Pay For This, wherein he describes his own dream of vengeance against the men who violated a young girl... but as Steve says, "No one (human being) has enough to lose to pay for all these crimes."  And then Steve encounters Jesus hanging on a cross and is told "Kill him!"  The idea being that Jesus alone has "enough to lose - a perfect sinless life" to pay for all the crimes of humanity -  and so Steve's bloodlust is gone, replaced only by a deep sadness - (sadness for his own broken state and the brokenness of all humanity...)

In the crucifixion, Jesus takes this ultimate punishment symbolically upon himself for every human crime, and says to us - "I took that beating for that person - now you can feel vindicated by me - and move on to forgive him and seek his well-being, rather than his destruction.

note** - Satan must know he can't destroy God but still he does seek to thwart him. Satan hates the human race.  Why?  Is it because he knows that we will one day rule over him and all angels? ... Was this the realization that turned Lucifer against God?

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