“Religions ancient and modern alike amply demonstrate that human beings are in some way aware of their guilt and a need for its removal. Humanity on some level seems to understand that there is a need for something drastic, for deep and real change, for sacrifice or for blood. And what humans have known instinctively—namely, that there is an approach of some sort that is necessary in the removal of guilt….”
Jill Carattini’s comment in this morning’s Slice affirms how scripture mysteriously captures the guilt ridden struggle of humanity and so simply presents God’s remedy. Still yet, in the name of truth, so often the institutional church uses that struggle to hold captive its audience. In reality, the Author of scripture, though its text delivered through fallen men, had no intent to hold his Creation captive but to bring freedom and love to a fallen race.
Religion, always man made and thus fraught with error, seems to invoke wrath upon the disobedient, even unintentionally transferring that trait to God, who is love. I am now wondering if we have not misinterpreted even the truth of God behind the ritual of sacrifice. Religion, only offers a sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of disobedience which manifests as guilt, rather than adequately communicating the gift of freedom from guilt, an act of God’s love.
Surely, our omnipotent Creator, who is love, knew we would respond in this manner? Perhaps the untold number sacrifices through the ages, initiated by God in the Garden, were necessary not to reverse His wrath toward our sins, but to foretell a time when He would come to Earth as a man-child, allowing the vicious wrath of a guilty creation to be poured out against Himself, though innocent as a lamb. Why,to say “I love you, regardless of your sins toward me!” His death at our hands, then erased all need for further sacrifice; and once understood, relieving the necessity of guilt which follows our incessant failures. That’s the Good News!
Mercy met grace and my guilt was remedied that day. I don’t have to earn it, and I don’t have to be perfect, for His love is made perfect by His demonstration of grace when I fail.
The tragedy of our fallen-ness is that even when we attempt to write this story of grace, we interject guilt and re-establish a price for sin, and reinstate our capacity for guilt.
Carattini closes the statement above with: “God has fulfilled on our behalf (a need for something drastic). Rather than waiting for us to approach, God has approached us.”
The great struggle has ended if the truth be known.
Note: Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.