Thereâ€™s one principle which the pagans around us understand, but which they always misapply in the most depraved ways. That truth? Someone must die for your sins. The gods must be appeased by blood, and this sends us on a perpetual hunt for scapegoats.
The scapegoat could be an innocent pilgrim, a child with a rare genetic feature, or a group of foreigners. Regardless, out of guilt, out of fear, the mob eventually comes to rain down all their shame upon the head of an innocent. Someone must die for your sins, and so the fallen man is always in a search for someone else.
The wages of sin is death. But we whisper to ourselves, â€œIt need not be my death.â€ So, we demand abortions to accommodate our sexual recklessness. We rain down bombs on Middle Eastern weddings in order to preserve our own national interests. We forcibly tax another manâ€™s livelihood to maintain our own standard of living. We pass the buck, and make others pay the price for our sins of lust, insecurity, greed, and envy.
The Gospel upends this pagan search for an innocent victim to die for our sins. It does this by freely offering an innocent victimâ€“â€“the only truly innocent victimâ€“â€“to die for our sins, and in our place. So your fear, your shame, your guilt is nailed to the cross, and you bear it no more. Someone has died for your sins, so that you no longer need hunt for a scapegoat to suffer for your crimes.
The Gospel proclaimed here, declares your search for a scapegoat is over. Here is a body broken for your sin against God and your strife with your neighbor. Here is blood poured out, which ought to have been yours. Here is grace. Here is Someone who died for your sins.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesusâ€¦