Second Sunday of the Year

Letting go of grudges

19th January 2020  

John 1.29-34

The early Christians were convinced that Jesus was innocent!  He may have been crucified as a criminal on trumped-up charges, but he was an innocent man, who like so many people in our own world became a victim of injustice.

John’s strange assertion today: “There is the lamb of God” means ‘there is the innocent one of god’. For Jewish culture the Lamb was a symbol of innocence. A Passover lamb was a Lamb without blemish. Only this Lamb could set people free.

We by contrast are not so innocent.  We get angry and hold grudges, some personal, and some collective. Whole nations can harbour grudges against each other, and use them to justify ethnic warfare.  How hard it is to let go of resentments .... especially if there has been real hurt. Humanly speaking, it is impossible.

But the early Christians never sought to avenge the death of Jesus on Good Friday. No thirst for revenge on Pontius Pilate or Judas Iscariot. For them Jesus’ dying was something that took away hatred and anger. In his own body the spirits of violence and vengeance were destroyed. This Lamb, this innocent man, truly took away hatred. Today we pray again that he may grant us peace and give the freedom to let go of grudges.                    

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