The sermon I’m reviewing today is from Bella Vista Lutheran Church. The subject: SIN! Or, as it’s pronounced in Arkansas: See-yun!
Here, the pastor assures us that it is WE who killed Jesus, not a bunch of people we don’t know from 2,000 years ago. And if we’re not feeling guilty about it, we can’t know the full greatness of God’s glory.
What, you didn’t know that bad deeds are hereditary?
“It may make you a bit squirmy if I say that YOU crucified your savior. We don’t want to look at the death of Jesus as something that puts blood on our hands. We love Jesus.. a lot! We would never want to hurt him, much less kill him, that can’t be us, right? So we pass by without letting it touch us. We blame those first-century Jews for the killing of Jesus. They did that with the help of those Godless Romans, you know. And we shake our heads and we assure ourselves that it would have been oh-so-different had we been there that day. Because we would have certainly stopped the injustice. We would have never let anything terrible happen to Jesus. We would never give the Father reason to shed tears over us. After all, we’re good Lutherans, aren’t we? How quickly we forget.”
How exactly can we be blamed for something we didn’t do? If my grandfather murdered someone, does that make me a murderer? Why would the rules be different here? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that my actions stand on their own. I take the blame for what I did. I don’t take the blame for what someone else did.
This is just another attempt at inserting guilt into the church-goer’s psyche. Guilt is what keeps people going to church. People think they are worthless and nothing because they are sinners. Anything good that they do, that was God. But anything bad, that’s their fault because they’re a terrible, awful sinner. But isn’t God great? He loves you anyway! Even though he’ll make you burn in hell if you’re not good enough. But he’s so great!
“You may have a blank spot in your memory about that Friday afternoon, but Jesus Christ doesn’t.”
Hmmm… why is there a blank spot in my memory for a Friday afternoon 2,000 years ago? Oh, that’s right, because I wasn’t there!
“You see, God, in a sense, tricked us. He put himself in our way, knowing what we would do to him. Knowing that we would take his life. So that by his death, he could bring our sin and dying to an end. He set us up. We’re guilty, but he set us up. And through his death, he’s given us salvation. And every one of us are accomplices in his death.”
<Mom> “That clever God! He’s such a rascal! Even though he’s all-powerful and can do anything he wants, he didn’t just forgive humanity. No! He made us commit a blood sacrifice first!”
<Mom> “Well…uh… that’s just the way it works!”
<Kid> “But… why couldn’t he just forgive us and skip all the nonsense?”
<Mom> “Shut Billy! Eat your green beans!”