Words for Walter Wangerin Jr. on Tuesday of Holy Week

Maybe none shall see with more terrible clarity the sorrow of our Lord that the apostle Paul: “For our sake.” he writes, “God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He does not write: “To bear our guilt,” as though a good man became better by substituting himself for our punishment. Severely, Paul writes, “God made him to be sin.” Jesus has become a bad man, the worst of all men, the badness, in fact, of all men and all women together. Paul does not write, “To bear our sin,” as though Jesus and sin are essentially separate things, the one a weight upon the other for a while. No, but “to be sin”: Jesus is sin! Jesus is the thing itself!

And yet, and yet: this same Jesus is also the Holy One of God, now as much as ever before – because he is completely obedient to the Father. Holy, he must hate sin with an unyielding hatred. Behold then, and see a sorrow unlike any other sorrow in the universe: that right now Jesus hates himself with an unyielding hatred.

This is, perhaps, the second bitterest swallow in the cup of suffering which he drinks