God Doesn’t Want Blood, He Wants Life

Hebrews 9:22 provides the main reason Christians believe that if Jesus had not shed His blood for us, we could never have been forgiven for our sins.

I forgive people all the time without requiring that they shed blood for me. And I’m really glad that people forgive me all the time without asking that I open a vein or kill my cat for them.

God doesn’t want blood. God wants life! It is WE who think that God wants blood (when He doesn’t). The idea of God demanding blood is borrowed from pagan religions. Jesus went to the cross, not to reinforce and support this idea, but to expose and redeem it. That’s a huge idea which would take us down a whole new rabbit trail.


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Imitating Christ, The Suffering Servant

The only Christian theodicy which I find credible is the confession that God does not exempt himself from the horror of human suffering, but is fully baptized into it. God in Christ joins us in a solidarity of suffering, and somehow by his wounds we are healed. Christ saves us from sin and death only by hurling himself into the abyss. The ultimate imitation of Christ is to patiently absorb sin and offer pardon in the name of love. This is grace.


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You Have Two Options When Someone Wrongs You

Someone may have robbed you of some happiness, reputation, opportunity, or certain aspects of your freedom. No price tag can be put on such things, yet we still have a sense of violated justice that does not go away when the other person says, “I’m really sorry.”

When we are seriously wronged we have an indelible sense that the perpetrators have incurred a debt that must be dealt with. Once you have been wronged and you realize there is a just debt that can’t simply be dismissed-there are only two things to do.


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Love Your Enemy: Is That Even Possible?

Using the word “love” for an enemy makes the word “enemy” obsolete. You can’t love an “enemy”! Maybe that’s Jesus’ point: the more we love our enemies, the less enemies the world will have. There will no longer be no “us” or “them.” There will only be “us.”

All the pain and suffering we’ve inflicted on one another will be recompensed in the next life, and as you forgive in this life, you will be forgiven in the next. You have one life now. Make sure you’re using it to fully become more like Christ, forgiving and loving generously.


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Forgiveness Is Both Costly And Necessary

If you’ve ever really forgiven somebody, forgiven some real wrong, all forgiveness is suffering. If you say “I forgave and I didn’t suffer,” it wasn’t that serious a wrong. But if you have ever really been wronged, and if you have forgiven it, then you have suffered. Because all forgiveness is a form of suffering.

Forgiveness means we pay our betrayer’s debt.


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