Pick your current event: Politics. World development. Incident or issue.
Choose the life circumstance: Profession. Family. Kids’ sports or education.
We are typically angry with any situation we perceive to be unjust. As blogged here recently, we have an innate need for justice… whatever the scenario may be…
… be that in crime scenarios…
… be that with dishonest politicians…
… be that with unfaithful spouses…
… be that with unscrupulous athletes…
… be that with cheating coaches…
… be that with those who hurt our kids…
… or hurt us.
We desire justice.
Allow me to articulate our need in a more arguably appropriate, colloquial way. We want someone to pay. We want someone to pay for the injustice.
“How dare this happen! There are innocent victims! Someone needs to pay for this!”
From trial to tragedy — from Trayvon Martin to the Colorado forest fires — when victims exist, we want someone to pay.
Hence, we come to Easter.
With respect to all religions of the world, the Intramuralist finds it absolutely fascinating that Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, the Bahá’í faith, and the New Age Movement all agree that Jesus Christ was a real person who walked this Earth. Most all also acknowledge that Jesus was a wise man who had a special relationship with God. In other words, the factual existence of Jesus Christ is not in question. What we sometimes question is what Jesus said — and what he did, being the only person who violently died and then rose again.
Funny, that questioning process is kind of what we do with people who say things we don’t like. We intentionally distance ourselves from others when we don’t like what they say, because what they point out is so hard to wrestle with — be those acquaintances, friends, or politicians that annoy us. Let’s make no mistake about this; some of what Jesus said is incredibly difficult to wrestle with. I don’t understand it all, and some things remain a mystery. And so what many of us do in order to diminish the need to wrestle with potential truth, is that we question an aspect of Christ’s existence instead; it removes the individual need to wrestle.
Christ’s account is that he came here as the long awaited Messiah, the one for whom the world was waiting to “save us” from our sins. Interestingly, a lot of us don’t think we need any “saving.” We’re fairly self-reliant. Pretty decent people. But in the same breath we’ll also acknowledge that none of us is perfect, and each of us has done some pretty rotten things; we’ve thought even worse things.
That’s the difference between Jesus and you and me. He is perfect. He had no dishonest thought nor unscrupulous activity nor questionable behavior. And so around this day some 2000 years ago, Jesus came to this planet and did the one thing we all keep wishing for someone to do.
He came to pay.
He came to pay for the dishonest thoughts, unscrupulous activity, and questionable behavior in you and me.
The Intramuralist believes that the reason we so crave for justice on this planet — the need we have for someone to actually pay — is because we don’t fully grasp what Jesus did for us. We don’t fully get that a perfect person would willingly pay for the imperfect. That’s what we are. We are imperfect people, created by a gloriously perfect God, who desires an intimate relationship with his kids, so much that he sent his only perfect kid to show us the way to that relationship.
So on this day, with recognition of the historical record, my prayer is that each of us would wrestle not only with who Jesus is and what he said, but also with what he actually did.
He paid. Someone had to.