Only one without sin (Jeremy Sansom)
Picking up on some recent letters to The Shetland Times, let’s be unequivocal about the Bible’s counsel with regard to homosexuals: they all deserve to die!
To adulterers? Stone them! To fornicators? Away with them! To murderers, thieves, rapists, paedophiles, liars, hypocrites, deceivers, cheats, slanderers, gossips, drunkards, perjurers, perverts, human traffickers, lovers of money, law-breakers? Death!
And the same to those given to disobedience to parents, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, impurity, orgies, envy, hatred, discord, fits of rage, dissensions, lust, malice, greed, filthy language, treachery. And also the corrupt, boastful, proud, abusive …
If you are still alive you’re probably dishonest, so you also should die!
Throughout history there has only ever been one who, in God’s eyes, did not deserve to die, because he alone was without sin. Yet this Jesus we nailed to a cross and subjected to the most cruel, painful and humiliating death imaginable.
This is Good Friday. God’s justice: my punishment borne by the Innocent One.
To fully grasp the implications of the biblical concept of sin, getting beyond its superficial meaning of mere wrong-doing, can be utterly liberating, as those of us who confess our sin before Christ can testify. Forgiveness and mercy and grace are deeply satisfying.
“I have come to give you life and life to the full,” says Jesus. “For freedom Christ has set us free,” says the Apostle Paul.
This paraphrase of words apparently attributed to Ghandi, quoted by Alan Crowe in one of his recent letters, might be helpful: “It’s folly to follow the followers (we’re all deficient). Follow the Master!”
Only sinners can fully appreciate the wonder and joy of Easter Sunday.
Oh, incidentally, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”