Friday, April 18, 2014

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 (Friday)

Year A - Good Friday or Annihilation Friday
April 18, 2014

How do you play with “bearing sin” and “revealing love”?

Our language is made even more difficult than usual for communicating when we say one thing to mean another.

If all we hear upon growing up is sin talk, it is difficult to later hear its derivation. There is nothing that can not grow from an initial impulse to love/create/release. Even sin is a subset of love—its absence or being redirected by some entitlement desire.

Note that no matter how despised and rejected, oppressed and afflicted, this beloved one might be, they are still a beloved. Even if ground into the ground the amazing reality of their presence cannot be reduced beyond belovedness. Their steadfastness, even to death, only reveals a larger love before which the hardest head and coldest heart will be seen.

Bearing sin here is not the bearing of sin of others, taking responsibility for the sin of others, but to recognize that it is the sins of others that brought about this perversion of justice. This can be heard in a comment from the Jewish Study Bible regarding verse 53:4-6:
Either the servant suffered on behalf of the speakers (i.e., the guilty were not punished at all), or he suffered along with the guilty, even though he himself did not share in the guilt of his fellow Israelites. The former idea (i.e., the notion of vicarious suffering) would be unusual for the Bible; the latter idea (the idea of corporate guilt) is not.

Again, how do you play with “bearing sin” and “revealing love”? Which is vicarious, a substitute for real life? Which is prophetic, a demonstration of how far we have gone astray together?

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