17 January 2011

The Preposterous Christ?

Then comes the real shock. Among the Jews there suddenly turns up a man who
goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it.
But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. [Because] God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else.
And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was,
quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.
One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so
often that we no longer see what it amounts to:
... the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic.
Yet this is what Jesus did.
He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured.
He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences.
This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. 
God does care. He cares so much that he came among us in human flesh.
  • C S Lewis