Easter - the death of God
Easter - the death of God

 

 

 

We often attempt to dowgrade the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ. At communion, we focused on the humanity of those who sacrificed their time and effort to produce the wine but forget the creator who died and suffered for us. When we take out Christ and His death and resurrection, there is no more Christianity but a man made religious faith based on  humanity and the hierachal church devoid of power and communion with God. We become worshippers of ourselves. We become the divine, the god within. We make ourselves (including our religious systems, traditions, intellect, wealth, church) become gods just like those who thought they had power on the hands to determine who dies or live at Calvary.

I was perturbed by the scenes at the Passion of Christ of gory, suffering, blood, and violence. The particularly graphic scenes were disturbing to me although my friends at City Harvest Singapore then were strongly encouraged to watch it (and enjoyed it I may add). Surely, God was not a masochist seeking the Christ the man suffering sufficiently at the Cross before redeeming us. Perhaps, it reflects Mel Gibson’s Catholic faith where Jesus was still shown to be hung at the Cross with His hands still nailed and His head pierced. We also have a Cross hung at our church with Christ on it! Surely we should bring Him down after all He had already suffered 2,000 years, why suffer more.

On this Good Friday, the scenes still disturbed me. For some, even the slightest mention of the “blood” in the Old Time religious Hymns agitates them, what more “There is fountain fill with Blood from Emanuel’s veins”. In response, they seek to deny the work of Christ at the Cross to substitute for our sins.

The Good Friday hymns with Jesus at the Cross are no longer sung in some churches lest it insults a new seeker. But as thinking and serious Christians, it seems a false religious morality, for we are talking about flesh and blood, to a seeker who has seen (and even enjoy!) far more – the violence and gory seen in the movies and television screens. We are made of flesh and blood that is our humanity. Our life is in our blood, so is the blood of Christ His life. Why perturb at mere blood, unless of course we have a biased agenda against the saving grace of God.

The people of religious faith have had a fascination with blood sacrifices. The god Molech also known as Moloch was an abomination with a bull’s head. The god of the Canaanites, the god of Harvest it demanded the sacrifice of children.  Hence, as the people gave them the sacrifices of their off springs, the god will in turn blessed the crops. The god needed to be persuaded and nothing lest than the sacrifice of our dearest will satisfy her demands. We also have our own modern sacrifices such as gays lest we fear God will punish us.

The sacrifices continued on in the Roman times with the slaves being captured and the crowds wanting blood, gory, violence, and death with the slaves in battle with beasts and armed man of war in a spectacle of death. The crowds of humanity would clamour for more, ever so blood thirsty. The slaves were the least in society and not considered humanity and were treated as fair game to the laughing spectacle of the audience.

At Easter, we are reminded that the Romans put on a show for the public for the sacrifice of the men. They were blood thirsty for the religious people of faith has condemned Jesus for failing to follow the law by claiming He was God, hence the crowd was showing their religious self-righteous indignation.

The spectacle of violence, gory and death, was not to satisfy God in heaven, it was to satisfy the blood thirsty humanity. We are not that divine after all. We put the least in the community and sacrifice them for our pleasure just as the GLBT community has been sacrificed so that we can declare our moral superiority. By dying for us at the Cross, God put an end to this display of violence and brutality reflecting the evil of mankind against each other.

At Easter, humanity was declaring their moral superiority through good works and obedience by religious law which is the basis for the people of faith. Hear their cries “crucify Jesus, crucify Jesus …” and over and over again. God was silent in the midst of this blood thirsty religious fervour of humanity.

The birth of Jesus Christ joins God to humanity but the Cross separates God from humanity for no longer would Jesus ever come down again to be man ever again. He came in flesh and that flesh was crucified at the Cross. The cry of Jesus at Calvary was that "IT IS FINISHED". There is no more gory, violence, brutal sacrifices. The scenes at the Cross is not to be repeated over and over again as if Jesus death was not enough.

God was silent, for God Himself was in great pain for He himself was at the Cross. The god Molech demanded human sacrifices. The crowds of people of faith demanded human sacrifices. And for thousands of years, the least in the community was sacrificed – the slaves and those who cannot fend for themselves.   

But the God of Israel ended the gory, death, and violence. He was the highest, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Yet, He came down from His throne on high to the lowest pit of humanity in the spectacle of death by the human mob. When Jesus died, there was darkness in the sky, for God died that day. It was not to please Himself, it was to stop this madness of destruction by humanity.

God provided a way out – and the blood is a reminder of the sacrifice of God Himself in our place. It was not to perpetuate or to glorify violence, gory or death, but the blood is a reminder that God put an end to the spectacle for humanity ended up killing God Himself.

We don’t own ourselves for humanity itself despite having a resemblance of the divine is indeed fallen and our Lord is Satan whether we like it or not. We are in a condemned state – it is not about judgement for Jesus Himself said we are already judged. It is not about following the law, for the law is to reflect our sinful nature to highlight our depravity and our need for God. The heart of humanity is rotten and nothing can redeem us, for our blood is corrupted since the first Adam. Hear the cries "crucify Him", see the evil eyes of humanity wanting for more bloodshed!

When we put on the Blood of the Lamb, it is acknowledging that we have sinned, we have killed God. We deserved death as part of the human religious mob who screamed for Jesus to be crucified in our blood thirty demand for vengeance. Yet, there can be no forgiveness, even God cannot forgive us. It is our choice, just as mankind chose the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, we have a choice to partake in the blood of the Lamb of God.

When the blood of the Lamb fills us, we begin to have the life of God in us, and His life replaces our live force. We begin to have a new heart – a heart of love, grace and mercy, grounded by the knowledge of the depths of our sin but aware of the grace of God in choosing to die for us.

At this Easter, the people of faith have continued to put whom they have considered sinners at the Cross. They first put Jesus there and still Jesus is hung there in many churches. Now, Gays are also crucified whilst we smile with glee in our self-righteous indignation.

How many gay people must die before they are considered part of the natural expression of humanity? How many gays must die before it satisfies our religious desire for a scapegoat in the community to pay for our own sins of violence, rape, abortions, adultery, murder, the many killing fields of war and famine?

The loud cries of humanity drown out the suffering cries of Jesus of pain and agony. Yet, in His death, He loved us whilst we threw insults at Him that if we enter with Him through His death, we will be able to rise with Him in resurrection to eternal life. Hence, the Cross at Calvary becomes our Cross. The Blood is a reminder that the sacrifice is complete that we need not physically die, but die in the Spirit in giving up of lives and all and placing ourselves at Jesus feet to follow Him and be bought by His blood. We are not our own. We have been bought by a great price if we are indeed of Christ.

At this Easter, God died that we need not die. We need only to enter into His death through the blood of the Lamb thus availing ourselves to be purchased by God. We are all sinners, part of the first Adam, for sin is in our blood. Hear the cries of those who crucify Jesus, it was the voice of a religious humanity. In the second Adam, we become a new creation, our blood no more of the first Adam but coming from the throne room of God. With a new blood, when we partake the body of Christ, we receive a new flesh, a new body, one born from having a new heart - hence we are born again.

At Calvary, the religious mob acted like gods thinking they had power to decide who lives or dies, for they wanted to become gods yet not knowing that they needed to die to themselves to see God. We are dead in Christ but made alive in His resurrection power. Let us die that we may live again.

The work of the Cross is finished. We need not sacrifice ourselves or sacrifice others unless of course we are gods ourselves. So let us live covered in the blood of the lamb, for it is no longer by our works, or sacrifices, but the finished work of the Lamb of God at the Cross of Calvary.

 

 
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