Jason Micheli will be posting reflections on Fleming Rutledge’s new book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, through Lent. Jason is a United Methodist pastor in DC who blogs at www.tamedcynic.org
Every year during Advent we let our confirmation students loose through the building to take an informal poll.
The question we give the confirmands is the same every year:
Why did Jesus come?
About 15% always respond that Jesus comes to teach us how to love one another and help the needy. I suppose those are the liberals.
Without fail, a reliable 85%, in so many words, reply that Jesus comes to die for our sins. That Jesus is born to die.
Instead of us.
In our place.
Every year the question is the same and, remarkably, every year so is the answer. The needle doesn’t move at all. More than 3/4 answer, year in and year out, that Jesus comes in order to die for us. As our substitute, suffering the death we deserve.
And, every year, more than a few of the confirmands bring those answers back to the confirmation class with a few questions of their own:
How does that work?