Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Week: Deicide

"And the people, everyone of them, shouted back, 'Let his blood be on us and on our children!'" (Matthew 27:25)
The verse above is often cited either as proof that Christianity is anti-Semitism or (worse still) as a proof-text for anti-Semitism itself. The Jews killed Christ -- they murdered God!  It doesn't get much worse than deicide.

On the contrary, the Church insists that this verse applies not merely to the members of the crowd, but to all people at all times. We are all responsible for the death of Christ, because He "bore our sins in His body" (1 Peter 2:24) and "takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). No Christian can condemn the Jews without condemning himself in the same breath.

But consider this: the blood of Christ is not the blood of Abel. There is no voice of blood "crying out to Me from the ground" (Gen 4:10) for vengeance. If anything, the blood of Christ cries out to God on our behalf. Christ is our Paschal Lamb, who died to free us from death.

Oh blessed fault indeed!  We killed Him that He might make us innocent.

I would humbly suggest that perhaps there is another proper Christian response to Matthew 27:25. "Yes, you're absolutely right. His blood is indeed upon you and all your children. May we have some too?"

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