Daily Dose, March 30 — Holy Week

  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11) I don’t like talking about the crucifixion of Jesus any more than I like talking about the evening my daddy died. I was there holding Dad’s hand with some people who will forever be dear to my broken soul, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. The gospels are generally brief and completely respectful as they tell what happened to Jesus. The facts are stated without any attempt to wring us out emotionally. I still get choked up sometimes when I review the accounts, and I never enjoy the public reading of Jesus’ death in the sanctuary. The deep question that demands our attention is “what does the death of Jesus mean for us and for the world?” His death means that we are all forgiven our hateful and hurtful ways. “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” was Jesus’ prayer, and I believe that God has done exactly that. I am forgiven. You are forgiven. This is what it means to say that Jesus has taken our sins away. Jesus’ death shows how much God will endure in the attempt to wake us up to what we are doing when we act without love. We are hurting one another and breaking God’s heart. Jesus’ sacrifice was meant to break our addiction to sinful and selfish ways, which is completely different than God letting us off the hook so we can continue to be proud and powerful. Jesus’ death by cruel hands was not the spoonful of medicine that God needed to get over being angry with us. God is not the problem. We are. Jesus stretched out his arms of love on the hardwood of the cross so that everyone might come within the reach of God’s saving embrace. Getting saved means we have begun to return the hug. -- Y’all come, Dr. Don