Fat Middle-Aged Wannabe

This is an occasional blog exploring spiritual matters.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

What did Christ do for us on the cross? The standard answer is that he "atoned" for our sins, in particular for the original sin with which we all are born. I sort of believe that, but with a twist. It seems to me that what people 3000 years ago thought of as "original sin", I think of as "animal nature" or "survival instinct." Because of the evolutionary process by which we were created, we developed certain instincts - we learned to value our lives above the lives of others, we learned to value the members of our tribe above the members of another tribe, and we learned to assert our own selfish interest in our struggle to survive. Eventually, we developed to a point where our survival was no longer is danger from other competing species, but began to be most threatened by the very instincts that had served us so well for hundreds of thousands of years.

And then along came Christ. He showed us how to move to the next step on our evolution toward God. He taught us to love ALL people; not just members of our tribe, not just the strong who could give us the most obvious advantage. And ultimately, he taught us that there is something greater than simple survival of the body. That the love that each of us shows towards others through the Holy Spirit is more important even than the life of our own body. I suppose it's not surprising, given the pace of evolution, that even after 2000 years we have barely begun to understand what Christ was teaching us, and have even less been able to apply the lessons that he taught. But what an AMAZING gift! This truly is GOOD Friday.


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