Every year on Good Friday, I take some time to look at the figure of Jesus on the cross–suffering in a way most of us can’t even imagine. And the thought comes to me, “What in the world did you think you were doing?!!!” Gradually I tell myself the story again–usually not the one about God the judge who required this horrendous death to pay for our sins. I tell myself about God the lover–or maybe the most loving parent imaginable–the one who is so loving and grace-filled that the notion of a demand for payment in order to forgive simply won’t fly. With this understanding of God, we find our salvation (our transformation) by participating in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We follow his example and open ourselves up, suffering the many little deaths that litter the path we must take in order to grow into his likeness–giving ourselves away for the sake of the world.
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