Guilt and the crucifixion

St. Augustine says, in todays office of readings, among other things:

Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.

This struck me.  My usual response to thoughts of the crucifixion is guilt.  Christ was crucified for my sins, and so I feel bad that he had to go through that for me.  But let us confess it in joy, says the saint, not in shame.   I think his view, and the deficiency of mine, turns on this:

I lay down my life, that I may take it again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.

Christ wasn’t a victim of my sins.  He was certainly a victim, but he was also the priest doing the offering.  He laid his life down.  I did not take it from him.  He laid it down out of love.  My proper response to such love should be love, not guilt.  Joy and glory, as St. Augustine says.

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~ by Rob on March 17, 2008.

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