Corinthians 5:21, part 2
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Corinthians 5:21, part 2

This essay, as promised, I will look at the challenging passage 2 Corinthians 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The Greek word translated as “made” can be used to describe someone giving a property to someone else, such as making a person rich by giving that person money. However, the story of Jesus as told in the Gospels shows Jesus making choices for himself, such as resisting temptations in the desert and choosing to follow divine will. (See, for example, Matthew 26:39.) Jesus was accused of sin by people, without any evident prompting by God. And, if God really were like a puppeteer, forcing people to do things, then human faith and service would be as meaningless as a computer that dutifully abides by the commands of its programmer.
God made Jesus (as God is the source of all life), and I think God desired that Jesus would choose to be the one whom we humans made into sin. Humans would heap sin upon Jesus, just as humans have heaped sin upon countless scapegoats. God was responsible for making Jesus to be sin only insofar as God expected this to happen, because this is the fate of prophets. I do not think that God desired for Jesus to suffer and die; God offered Jesus this tragic destiny because God wanted to end scapegoating violence. Therefore, I regard God as involved in Jesus’ death insofar as God empowered Jesus to expose the scapegoating process, but God did not orchestrate the Crucifixion. When Jesus defended victims and denounced victimizers, he scandalized both the Jewish and Roman authorities, making his crucifixion inevitable.
If we receive this crucial message, we will resist the natural human temptation to participate in the injustice and evil of the scapegoating process. In doing so, “we might become the righteousness of God.” 

Go on to: How Are We Created in God’s Image? part 1
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents 

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