Friday, February 27, 2004

I hope this isn’t heresy, but I’ve got a question. The major debate surrounding the release of Mel Gibson’sThe Passion of the Christ” is who killed Jesus? My question is what does it matter who killed Jesus?

If you accept the premise of most Protestant Christians (maybe Catholics too, I have no idea) that God sent Jesus to die for our sins, does it matter who killed Jesus? If Jesus wasn’t murdered/crucified, what does that mean for our sin? It wouldn’t be quite the same if the Bible said, “Jesus of Nazareth quietly passed away yesterday at the age of 95 in the Galilee Assisted Living Facility. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to Paul’s Legal Defense Fund.”

At the Easter service a couple of years ago, my pastor at the time said Christians are “Easter people.” Our faith is one of rebirth and redemption from sin. Without the death of Jesus, would there be an Easter? Much of what it means to be Christian is tied up in the resurrection and knowing that, why do we care who killed Jesus?

If you believe that it was God’s divine plan for Jesus to die on the cross (there are some who don’t believe that, and while it would be an interesting discussion, that’s for another day) is there anything anyone could have done to stop it? Shouldn’t we then focus on what his death and resurrection mean to us as Christians? I guess I just don’t understand why people get so worked up about something that seems completely irrelevant when you consider Christian theology and doctrine…



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