In all our conceit we think that we are somehow such good Jesus lovers that we are measuring up just fine to God’s standard of judgment, and will measure up when we take our last breath.
It’s always someone else who’s going to be in trouble on a final, mythical Judgment Day.
Think about who you think is going to pay when he or she meets the Maker.
What makes you so surefire certain Jesus is going to flunk THAT sinner and give you an A-grade for the life you’re living?
Really–nothing in this life or in the divine realm can be so certain, can it?
The Good News of the Gospel is not a gloomy news editorial about who’s going to be in and who’s or going to burn forever and ever and ever in some literal lake of fire in Revelation, a book that was written almost entirely for the purpose of giving the suffering, persecuted Christians hope in the Lamb of God. It was written as the last word on the first word that was the Book of Genesis.
So the Good News of the Gospel is more like Henri Nouwen’s “news editorial”:
When we say “Christ has died” we express the truth that all human suffering in all times and places has been suffered by the Son of God.
There is no suffering — no guilt, shame, loneliness, hunger, oppression, or exploitation, no torture, imprisonment or murder, no violence or nuclear threat — that has not been suffered by God.
There can be no human beings who are completely alone in their sufferings since God, in and through Jesus, has become Emmanuel, God with us.
The Good News of the Gospel, therefore, is not that God came to take our suffering away, but that God wanted to become part of it.
http://www.henrinouwen.org/About_Henri/About_Henri.aspx”>Henri Nouwen, from Christ of the Americas
Have a good Good Friday.