“God so loved the world that he gave his only son….”
The older I get, the less I can accept this idea. When my own sons were born, I discovered a depth of love that I didn’t know I had and I went a little crazy thinking about how to care for them. They’re grown now but I would still fight tigers, armies, and hurricanes to protect my sons. I have cried in frustration and shame when I failed to care for them adequately.
How am I supposed to respond to a heavenly father who hands his child over to be sacrificed and says he did it for me?
Child sacrifice. It’s an old concept where cultures thought it would protect them from disaster or perhaps give them a good harvest. Butcher a child, sacrifice a virgin, throw someone into the mouth of a volcano, and the village would be saved. Nowadays we know better and we understand that human sacrifice is reprehensible.
Except when God does it. For some reason, we don’t say it’s awful. Instead we say it’s beautiful—a gesture of God’s love and we sing lovely songs about it.
We especially sing of the blood of Jesus spilled on our behalf.
There is a fountain filled with blood.
Are you washed in the blood?
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood.
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
But wait, there’s more! We have a special ceremony, a commemorative meal, where the bread is his body and wine is his blood. Some Christians say it miraculously changes to actual flesh and blood as it enters us. “Take this body, take this blood,” we say, “remember what was done for you and be grateful.”
I do not accept.
I do not celebrate the blood of anyone’s child.