I suck. There is a lot of garbage in my heart. I worship idols like money, ease, and food. I have a massive ego that is never satisfied, an appetite for praise and accomplishment that can never be satiated. I am proud and arrogant, thinking of myself far more highly than I ought, and desperately wanting others to think as highly of me, too. My sense of entitlement is out of control, and so I want personal greatness at the cost of mediocrity. I sin. I am sin.
People like me make this world a horrible place to live. I spread darkness and wickedness. I encourage the worship of idols. Because of me, and others like me, God is despised, forgotten, and rejected. Nobody pays attention to God, least of all me. I’m taken in by the distracting entertainments of the world–the false gods of fame, celebrity, and leisure. In this idol-infested world, which I helped create and which I perpetuate, there is no room for God.
And yet God made room for himself. The Son of God became just like us, and lived a life like ours, only much harder and far less comfortable than I could ever know. Except that he wasn’t like me at all. He was perfect. He didn’t spread the darkness. He didn’t worship idols. He didn’t cower when the moment called for courage. He didn’t despise God or anyone else, for that matter. He didn’t run from unclean people–he healed them. He didn’t condemn sinners–he saved them. He didn’t despise rich people–he loved them.
And for all this, we killed him. Yes, we. I killed him. You killed him. It was us, and the crap and wickedness and idolatry and sin we carry around in the deepest places of our hearts that sent him up there on that cross. He loved us; we murdered him.
But he said something as he hung there, something that echoes still through the streets and alleyways of our modern cities. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even while we murdered him, Jesus prayed to the Father for us, begging that we would be forgiven of deicide, of executing God. And that prayer was answered with an astounding, earth-shattering, “Yes!” on Sunday.
Be forgiven, you murderers. Be forgiven, we killers. And let the mercy of Christ cleanse your hearts and uproot your idols.