Filed under: Christianity, God, Grace, Jesus, Lent, Religion, Spirituality, thoughts
It was a rather slow day for my Saints and Sinners bakery. We made French bread and Vegetarian Minestrone soup. Both made the entire place smell fantastic. The only problem was that we forgot to buy eggs to replace the ones we threw out from the frig.
It is these middle days of Lent that really start to get to me. We sang “Raise High the Cross” and I just had to stop. If Penal Substitutionary Atonement is a requirement for any type of paradise then I am afraid that I will not be in that number. The suffering of Jesus has over time been less and less important to my personal salvation. I know that it has been central to many others throughout church history and to many conservative Christians. Instead of comfort and assurance it merely makes me sad.
There is a strange comfort in knowing that there was no real official atonement theory of the church until about the 11th century. This allows me to feel that even in some of the Church’s most conservative decades I would not have been burned at the stake for my beliefs (or lack thereof). Hearing about the suffering, torture and death of Christ does force me to think of those who suffer the same type of fate at the hands of others throughout the world (ie Rawanda, Sudan, Iraq, Israel, Uganda….) His death also reminds me that Jesus was human and experienced a real death. His heart stopped, the synaps in his brain quit firing and his lungs quite filling with oxygen. He did experienced the ultimate human experience, death. Still, I can not make the turn and be glad that Christ died, want to be washed in his blood or glorify that tragic death.
Wow this entry turned into a downer quick. Sorry, I guess as a pastor these sort of depressing examinations are appropriate for this time of year.
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