Bonhoeffer speaks to Jesus’ passion and says that in all, “what is at stake for Jesus is…solely his love for real human beings” (p. 92). And because His love is what is at stake, He can “enter into the communion of their guilt”. That is, our guilt.

In describing Jesus’ wants he frames His perfect love for us. His love is not about:

  • His goodness
  • His perfection
  • His ignorance of our destruction by our guilt
  • His triumph over our wretched state

“A sinless nature and guilt bearing are bound together in him indissolubly” (p. 92).

Instead, Jesus’ “risky love” compels Him to become guiltywith us (not just for us). What’s more is that Bonhoeffer calls this risk, this “gamble” responsible action. Further, “everyone who acts responsibly becomes guilty” (p. 93). Wow, take a second and re-read that please. And let’s consider

the risk level of our God-like love.

mountaintop“Through Jesus Christ, the nature of responsible action includes the idea that the sinless, the selflessly loving become the guilty” (p. 93). This is mind-boggling because  of how today’s believer tends to think about love, witness, testimony and separation.

Bonhoeffer pokes at us again to look at Jesus’ example and stand up next to it…

Are we responsible?

Is it real love we offer?

Is there some association with guilt?

Love sits and joins the guilty (remember, Jesus enters into communion with our guilt), risks identification with the guilty (or unclean), to give a “clean message” of bold, risky love that is pure, full of hope and restorative ability. It is the awareness of responsibility that allows us, in the face of guilt-risk, to show that Godly communion is the victor! Jesus enters into guilt with us to show us redemption’s power.

My, how great is our God! Selah, and love to all this Passion Week.

Reference:  Bonhoeffer, D. (1906-1945). I want to live these days with you: A year of daily devotions. (O. C. Dean, Jr., Trans.). London, England: Westminster John Knox Press.
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