Why did Christ die?
"Jesus Christ - Died for Our Sins?"
Good Friday. We remember that one was crucified there. One among many others was executed. Many thousands died like him at the gates of Jerusalem. Many millions before and after.
But this one, he's taking us prisoner. He died for us, we are told. His blood flowed for me, for her, for all of us. Do we understand what is being said: died for our sins, “Christ appeared to atone for us”? What is that supposed to mean? Why is?
Guilty of Auschwitz
Atonement refers to situations in which there is nothing to make up for. There is irreparable guilt, there is irreparable calamity. We found out where people died we owed them, and now we can no longer ask for forgiveness, nothing more to change. It is even more so in our relationship with the Jewish people. Auschwitz, the millions murdered, this crime, it is such a one irreparable calamity. Perhaps that is what the deniers of this crime are feeling very well. The Jews are not our misfortune, but they remind us of the misfortune we have become for them. An old man in Israel once said to me: “The Germans will never forgive us for Auschwitz.” He formulated a deep insight. The memory of this happening is not only for the victims, but also for us unbearable and so painfulthat we prefer to live with our anti-Semitic prejudices. But it is precisely here, with our suffering and forgetting of such irreparable guilt, that we can see what atonement means. His name is responsibility to take over for past guilt, it means to distinguish between victim and perpetrator and instead of the perpetrator to endure what is the result of the wrongdoing. The victims need Atonement sign and the perpetrators forgiveness so that the future becomes possible and reconciliation can take place.
Go on living despite guilt that cannot be repaired
This is exactly what is meant in the New Testament when the crucifixion of Jesus is understood as an atoning death. After Easter, after the resurrection of the crucified Christ, the disciples only understood: Jesus died instead of the perpetrator, for those who nailed him to the cross, for the judges, the executioners and the spectators. That is why Jesus says at the end: "Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing." (Gospel of Luke, chapter 23, verse 34)
Good Friday is the day when everyone is to blame Future made possible becomes. Especially when there is nothing we can do about this guilt. This day reminds us of the darkness in our life, that which we bear heavily because we can no longer get rid of it and which we therefore like to suppress and forget.
Accept your own guilt
Whoever does not want to perceive his guilt will not be able to understand what it means that Jesus died for us. I know this is painful and depressing. The images of the crucifixion story also hit us: the darkness also breaks into our life, the sun loses its shine, the earth shakes, it tears us apart. I can no longer tell my late friend, my father, how much I loved her. I can do that Do not undo injuriesI've done to people in the past. I have failed to do so many good things because I was too comfortable or because I was ashamed. We all have our own dark corners.
Everyone has the opportunity to choose
Maybe we just have that choice between the two men who were crucified with Jesus. The one mocked Jesus still. Obviously, neither a hopeless situation nor the face of death automatically lead to self-knowledge. Anyone who has seen people die knows what I am talking about. The other man next to Jesus, however, acknowledges his guilt: “We receive what our deeds deserve!” He says and asks Jesus: “Remember me when you come into your kingdom!” This one repentant perpetrators, to those who no longer seek excuses, do not apologize or even deny themselves, to this person and to no one else Jesus says the only word of consolation on Good Friday: "Truly, truly I say to you:" Today you will be with me in paradise. " (Gospel of Luke chapter 23, verse 43)
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