What kind of person
would search Jesus out of a crowd,
and saddle up to him in an off-hand kind of way
and start right in with,
“Uh, Jesus, I was wondering if maybe
I could talk to you about,
hmm, paying the price of my failure
to be worthy of God’s love,
or, more to the point, of my success
in deserving God’s wrath,
and the punishment of death
and misery everlasting?
I hear you are perfect in every way,
and if you would be so willing,
I think it might be possible for God
to count your death as a substitute for my own.
I know it’s a lot to ask and all,
but I would be eternally grateful,
and would put a Jesus Fish
on the back of my car
and wear a cross around my neck,
and call myself your disciple,
and devote my life to your cause,
and come up with new ways for you to help me,
like maybe with the rent,
or a new car,
and a lifetime of prosperity and luxury,
and a Super Bowl victory, or two,
but we’ll get to that later.
For now, I’m just asking you to die for me.
What do you think?
Do you love me or not?”
And, if that approach
would not be acceptable before Jesus died,
what makes it admirable after his death?
What kind of person lets Jesus die for him, or her?
Is glad to say, “Woopee, Jesus! Thank you, Lord!
How do you like that guy?
How About That Jesus?
Halleluiah! Amen!” ?
If we wouldn’t think of suggesting it,
how does it become acceptable to say, after the fact,
“Well, if you insist,
if you must,
if you really want to,
if you are passing out free tickets,
okay, then, I’ll be happy to have one,
nice of you Old Chap,
Oh, and could you do something about my boss’s attitude?
The man is driving me crazy!”?
Who wants to spend any time at all,
much less eternity,
in the company of people who are that guileless
and happy to be held unaccountable
for their failure to be faithful
to the task of human-being-hood?
What kind of person would want
to be found in the company
of that kind of person?