Holiness (part 6)

In the cross, Jesus shows that he is not, in fact, reacting to the world as other people might react. He does not need validation by the priests or the rulers. He does not need to defend himself even from the injustice. This injustice of his crucifixion is itself a reflection of sinful humanity, a clash of egos that collide against each other. Jesus takes on the sins of the world, not responding to this clash of ego. Instead, he stops the cycle.

He shows his holiness in his acceptance of the injustice, not demanding separation or satisfaction but instead revealing his nature as the true human, in trusting fellowship with God the Father. He trusts the Father, and the Father trusts the Son. Jesus does not defend himself because he trusts that God continues to work even through the crucifixion, and so instead of responding to Herod, or the Jewish leaders, or to anyone who didn’t understand him, he offered himself as a sacrifice, for our sins. And so humanity in Christ is reconciled to the Father as a whole, with identification with Christ allowing for participation in the trust that God shows his son. Jesus is the trusted Son of the Father. In the Law, the rules for holy behavior were intended to establish the identity of a people who could be trusted with participation with God as he is, with his identity that reaches out and opens up possibilities for his people.

In his openness, God trusts as well, with the relationship of trust forming the bond of true fellowship. Yet, in sin, humans betray the trust of God, acting in a way contrary to him and contrary to their own existence, marking themselves for death as they seek after false paths of identity formation. Faith and hope are the human indications of trust, trust in a God fully realized in Christ.
We do not know in full who God is, we still have questions and have lives without a lot of answers, so we act on what he has revealed in participation with his revelation in Christ. Holiness, God’s wholeness is not yet fully possible in us, but we can approach it in faith, hope and love by living as Christ calls us. Trusting God, and learning to live in ways that show this utter and total trust. We confess Christ, and we turn to those ways that lead to freedom—showing our trust in God by letting God’s spirit lead us to new ways of acting, of responding of being.

We read in James 1:25 —

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”

So we see God’s holiness in the ministry of Jesus and in the cross. We see God’s holiness in the resurrection as well. God is so clean, so whole, so himself that even death itself has no sting. He overcomes death, in life, in hope fully realized so as to express the holiness of his full identity. In identifying with Christ in his death, we let go our attempts to form our own identification, trusting God in this life for the fullness of his life which is the only true life.

We show trust. We die to our self. We are reborn, with Christ, to participate with God and in doing that freeing us to more fully participate with others, as we continue to abandon our egos’ attempts at self-definition.

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