“Goodness is a spotlight ..on our shame, our filth.” ~ W. Wangerin, Jr.

To sinners, the mere presence of goodness can feel like an attack.

…Goodness is a spotlight. It shines on our shame, our filth, our deformities; it picks out the parts we hide from the world and even from ourselves. We will strike at that light.  We’ll haul it into court, discredit it, and smash it in order to put it out. We’ll spit on it and belittle it. We’ll blindfold it, hit it, and ask it to prophesy – all to prove what a fraud this ‘prophet’ is (And to dehumanize him! Get it?)

Where patience shines, impatience is revealed and hates the attention. Kindness shows unkindness to be hideous. True joy intensifies true bitterness; gentleness enrages belligerence; and self-control proves the pig to be nothing but a pig.

The real trial in Caiaphas’s house is not of the guilt of Jesus. Rather, Jesus is judging the guilt of the others, not by speaking, but by being perfectly innocent. Innocence accuses its accusers. (This is the great war between secular powers and genuine religion; the trial continues even today.) They hate it. They scream to drown the sweeter truth; they condemn him to death in order to put out the light. They want dearly to put out the light.

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Save me, Lord, from blaming anyone but myself:
— not you (whose innocence spotlights my sin),
— not your foes (whose sins are my sin),
— not people whose virtues reveal my evil.

I must suffer my guilt, my own guilt; this is the pain of an earnest repentance; and repentance alone can hear your forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness. Amen.

Reliving-passion-Wangerin-1992Quoted from Walter Wangerin, Jr.’s Reliving the Passion; Meditations on the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus as Recorded in Mark (Zondervan, 1992). This is found in his meditation on Mark 14:65 with John 3:19-20, pp.85-86

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