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Born to Be Murdered? : A Word from Bethlehem

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The Christmas season always makes me ponder a pivotal question. Did God send Jesus to die? I’m not talking about a death of natural causes. I’m talking about a brutal painful death. I’m talking about a bloody murder. Did God know about the suffering that was to come? If God knows everything, as traditional Christian doctrine teaches, then the answer is yes. God sent Jesus to take the crown of thorns. God sent Jesus to be beaten to the point of death. God sent Jesus to be crucified. God sent Jesus to be abused. What type of God would do such a thing? Would you send your child to endure such suffering? Can you imagine rejoicing over your child in Bethlehem when you know what brutalization is coming? If traditional Christian doctrine is to be believed, God is the greatest child abuser of them all. I simply can’t believe in a God like that. I choose to believe that the baby in Bethlehem represented the best of who God was and is. I choose to reject traditional doctrine. I choose to believe there is another way.

 

God did not kill Jesus. God didn’t know what was coming. God only knew the hope of the baby. God sent Jesus on a rescue mission to save the world with no idea if it was going to work. I don’t think this is just wishful thinking. I think it is the only plausible way to think about a righteous God. God has to be ignorant of what is to come. I think there is biblical evidence for such belief. Matthew 27:19 reads, “While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night, I suffered much last night.'” As Pilate was about to condemn Jesus, his wife begs him to stop. I see this moment as one of God’s last attempts to save Jesus. God cannot be held responsible for the murder of Jesus because God didn’t know. God sent the baby in Bethlehem to bring hope not to be murdered. God had no idea what was going to happen. God kept trying to save Jesus. That’s why God led Mary and Joseph to the stable. God is not the great child abuser of all. We are.

 

Amen.

 

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