Saturday, June 30, 2018


My youngest child broke down and cried…I mean screaming…lost it entirely…her older siblings had probably eaten all of the marshmallows out of the box of Lucky Charms…or something like that.  My wife wisely and accurately said…”You my dear need to go to bed earlier…staying up until 11:00 talking and playing in your bed is not leaving you with enough sleep!”
“It’s my sister’s fault!”
“How’s that?”
“She won’t stop reading!”
“How is that affecting your sleep?”
“…I DON’T KNOW!!!” Cry, cry…sob sob…
We like to cast blame.  We all do it…so don’t even deny it. I blame my father for my dashing good looks and for my fancy for donuts.  Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I think it is his fault that, I cannot say no to most any filled pastry…shame on him.  Somehow we find it reasonable to blame police officers for our speeding tickets, referees for our losses, children for our gray hair, and political parties for gas prices…shame on them.
My dad and I were recently working to renovate the stairs in our split level home.  It became obvious that changes were necessary, when we began to see the wood stair treads through the carpeting.  I invested in an easy to use, much overpriced product, that is designed to slide directly over each existing stair tread.  I was treating each tread like gold…considering, together they cost more than my gold wedding band.  My dad, wisely, made me make every measurement…and every cut, so that when it came time for a mistake, there was only one person to blame.  Me.
The mistake did come. I made a significantly improper cut, thus destroying one of the treads.  I looked to my left and to my right…I looked behind me…and in front of me.  I racked my brain trying to develop some scenario in which I could cast blame for this error upon someone…anyone.  There was no one there.  It was like each direction I looked I found myself facing a mirror.  It was my fault, no one else’s. I think that if there had been someone to blame…I may have verbalized my disgust at their mistake.  Instead, I tossed the piece aside and said…”bummer.”
I remember my dad saying, “You are taking that surprisingly well!”
“Not really, I just can’t find anyone else to blame…what am I supposed to do…chew myself out?”
When Jesus stands before Herod and Pilate, he is being blamed for many things that he did not do.  He is being accused, mocked and abused…and all the while he remains silent and for the most part does not defend himself.  Luke 23:6-12 and John 18:39-19:16 gives us the account.  Jesus is guiltless…yet blamed.  He will be hung on the cross for something that he was not guilty of…and ironically the Jewish and Roman leaders are consumed with guilt and would rather cast the blame on Jesus, than look in the mirror... and Jesus takes it.  He takes it…because he knows that by taking it…he is taking our guilt…he is freeing us from our own guilt and shame.  Incredible!

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