Jesus, God incarnate, was executed. It was a crime meant to silence God from caring for the poor, healing the sick, restoring life to the dead, and speaking against the social barriers that were trapping people. The religious and political leaders did not like that God cared so much for the marginalized of society. They had forgotten from their days in Egypt that God hears those that cry out to him. So when Jesus came healing, teaching, and caring they thought that they had the answer to the problem – and that was death to God.
Plus, they were ticked that God would come forgiving sins to all those that offered them at his feet. With a present and tangible Christ who forgave people sin there was neither need for the temple middle men who ripped people off nor taxes paid through the temple to the Roman Government. And so God was executed. For offering grace, compassion, and empathy, Christ was led to the cross…It was an attempt to silence and render God powerless.
God, however, will not be made powerless, nor silenced, nor separated from God’s people. In the resurrection we see God’s firm “No!” to the power of death and God’s exclamation of “Yes!” to life. We see that God’s empathetic nature prevail, and God’s Grace reign. This is what we are baptized into as God’s people. Our sins go out the window as we live into a new way of life in God. We put away are old ways of holding grudges, talking garbage, looking out for just ourselves, and turn towards forgiving others as God has forgiven us, speaking well of our neighbor, and caring for all people even the ones we may not like.
And then something really cool happens: We are sent. God gives us God’s Holy Spirit and the mission to continue in forgiveness of sins and the healing of the nations. In baptism, God’s mission becomes our mission. So my wonderment is as I wrap up this Tuesday Meditation, how is God using you in his mission? How do you get to live out his empathy, compassionate, and grace this week?