The problem with Jesus dying for us.
How many of us take comfort of the cross? Jesus died for us, right? He died specifically to take our sin upon himself, wipe out our guilt and serve our death sentence so that we can be reconciled to God the Father in his holy state.
There's comfort in that right? Yes Jesus, yes. Please take my sin.
But what happens when it comes to him taking other people's sin? What if he removes that person's sin? What if he allows that person to be reconciled to the Father? That murderer, that rapist, that parent that wounded you so grievously, the pedophile... what if he decides to remove their sin?
To be real, he's already decided that he will. All that person has to do is be willing, repent, submit, confess faith believe and Jesus will in fact forgive them. He will allow them to be washed clean.
What happens then?
What happens to you?
What happens to your heart? It's not washed clean. It's still hurting and worse yet, you're not sure they really deserve it. They don't seem sorry. You haven't seen evidence of this faith and repentance.
What happens is now you're the judge. Now you want to be God. To play at his game of deciding who is worthy and who is not.
Jesus and his whole "I'm not willing that any should perish" thing? Well that's rather distasteful to us. Because we're quite willing that some should. Not only are we willing, we'd be glad to give him our list. Or Karma our list or anyone our list. As long as our list gets our measure and type of justice acted upon. But we definitely don't want certain people forgiven, dancing in eternal happiness right alongside of us.
I don't hold to Karma, she's one lax judge if she does exist. But isn't this how we want God to behave as well? God, we're ok with you being God as long as you use the judging part of your character when we want you to and the grace part when we want you to. But if you're going to give grace to the guy who killed my loved one and judgement to me when I fall short of a standard regarding lust well then all of the sudden we're less okay with him being in charge.
I can not reconcile this today. I do feel like the standard of sin is on a sliding scale. That feels like my reality even though that is not what Jesus teaches in the New Testament. I'm not willing to go as far as some and say that certain people don't deserve to breathe my air, but I'd be more comfortable walking in their direction than Jesus' some days.
But if you buy into this whole Christianity thing that is not how it works. There is nothing, no sin that we can commit as humans (beyond grieving the Holy Spirit but we're not exactly sure what that means) that places us beyond the pale of God's love and forgiveness. This is meant to be a comforting notion, and it is in regard to us and those we love. Perhaps there is a better way to see it. A way that acknowledges the dissonance of our gratefulness for forgiveness along with our strong desire that the evil are judged. If we can hold both of those things in our hands we might have a shot of finding a place of peace.
I'm not the judge, some days I'd like to be. Today I'd like to be. But I'm sure glad no one else can self-appoint themselves as my judge either. And for that I am grateful.