Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Christ’s sacrifice

I'd like to add something to what the LD well said in the last post.

There are more sides to Christ's sacrifice, as in the Old Testament different kinds of sacrifice are prescribed by the book of Leviticus. Of these, I'll single out two.

Christ died for our sins.

In this way he enacts, as sacrifier and victim at the same time, the sacrifice called by Leviticus "for sins", prescribed to cleanse the priest or the people of the pollution left by the misdeeds we call sins.

What is after all a sin? Neither in Leviticus nor elsewhere in Scriptures we find a definition, only cases of it. I dare say that sin is a diabolic act in the etymological sense of the word: an act of self-indulgence that doesn't unite but divides.

Uniting, then, is Christ's sacrifice: said in strict theological terms, what it realizes is atonement (word recalling a reckoning, a settling of accounts, a drawing together of loose ends – and may finally evoke, in a wild sort of etymologizing, the "at-one-ness" of reconciliation). So He overcomes the divisiveness coming from our sins.

He does it, however, because that sacrifice is like the one Leviticus calls a burn offering, a holocaust, in which the whole victim is offered for no other reason than to pay the due homage to the Lord.

It is, in other words, the pure act of self giving that shows Jesus to be Christ, the anointed one, the King. It is because of that that it takes away our sins, i.e., it represents efficaciously for us the way that doesn't divide in hate, but unites in love.


No comments: