Holy Week and Easter Message
He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity—we held him of no account. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 52:3,6).
Many of us have come to believe that Jesus’ primary contribution through his crucifixion and resurrection was to “take away the sins of the world.” While there is certainly a redemptive element to these events, there is a far deeper truth for us to internalize. My colleague Kay Young reminds us that by reducing Jesus merely to the bearer of our shortcomings, we miss out on the fullness of his life and way. Further, we fail to recognize our responsibility in the redemptive process—if transforming us is achieved only through Jesus’ death, then we really bear no responsibility for our own lives.
Rev. Young tells us, “Jesus was the ultimate human, filled with all the goodness of God, who journeyed into the complete darkness of the human soul, where humans take away another’s life because of greed, fear, an unwillingness to speak against a wrong, or love of power, or an out-of-control hatred and unchecked aggression.” Jesus went to his death willingly because Jesus was full of love beyond our imagining. Jesus was fully human in ways that we are not. He sacrificed himself in order to bring about the eternal cycles of abundant life.
The real transformation of our lives that Jesus taught and made possible involves our becoming, as much as we can, fully human and discovering our true selves—to discover the light and love and grace within us, and to share all of that with others.
A Message from Pastor Paul Forrey