Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chapter 42: Being an Answer to the World's Question

There is a strange, almost paradoxical meeting of guilt and forgiveness at the cross.

     My guilt is overwhelming. It is so overwhelming that I cannot get out of it. I cannot do
     anything to clear my name. People have forever worked and worked and worked to
     wash away the wrong that they have done, but in the end our work is in vain. We can
     never get rid of the blot of evil.

          In fact - my guilt is such that it put a man on a tree and he died.     He. Died. 

               I am an accomplice in this greatest of murders. My guilt in this is undeniable.

Ironic, then, that the very act that confirms my guilt - solidifying in me a heart of stone - is the very act that absolves it - creating a heart of flesh.

How can it be that my guilt and my forgiveness are both hanging on that tree?
How can it be that my death and my life are there as well?
How can it be that my deepest shame and sorrow, and my greatest hope and joy are due to the selfsame event?

It is only in this paradox that we are free.
     Only when we have soldered the final and greatest link in the chain of our sin is the chain
     broken completely.
     Only when we have acknowledged our evil and then seen its ugliness, do we know the
     pain and joy of guilt and forgiveness. 
     Only when the the woes of the world are cast upon him can he cast them away forever.

The cross is an ugly and beautiful paradox.

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