I heard a Christian song the other day that gave me the creeps. At least one line did. It was about Jesus, of course, and the song said of Jesus, “You lived to die.” Say what? Who lives to die? Not anyone I know, including Jesus.
I know the point of the song: Jesus lived to die for our sins. But did he really? Why? Because God demanded a human sacrifice to make up for our mistakes? So is God like some ancient deities who demanded a virgin be thrown into a volcano to appease the gods? Does that mean God was pleased when Jesus was crucified? Was God thinking when Jesus was hanging from the cross: Oh, goody. Now I can forgive humans for not being perfect? Didn’t God know from the time humans were created that we weren’t perfect? If God wanted people to be perfect, wouldn’t God have created people to be angels, not humans?
Jesus didn’t live to die for our sins. Jesus died because he angered people by saying and doing things they didn’t want to hear or see. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” “What?!” Say the warmongers. “Blessed are you who are poor…But woe to you who are rich.” “What?!” Say the wealthy and the well-off. “Love your enemies.” “What?!” Say the vengeful. Jesus overturns the moneychangers tables. “What?!” Say the Capitalists.
So, Jesus didn’t live to die. He died because of how he lived. Speaking truth to power.
And Jesus lived, not to die, but to show us how to live. As Jesus himself said, “I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
L’Chaim! To life!
Go in Peace. Live in Love. Abide in Joy.