Just substitution

January 1, 2007 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

When Saddam Hussein was put to death yesterday morning, the event was videotaped. Why? To provide proof that he was indeed executed. Key witnesses were allowed to view the body for the same reason–providing proof of his death.

I can understand this reasoning: If I had had to endure Saddam’s regime, I too would want to make sure that the terror was finally over; I too would want proof that the man responsible for so much violence and pain in my life was really, truly dead.

I don’t suppose it would have gone over well if anyone had suggesting hanging a substitute in Saddam’s place. They wanted to make sure Saddam himself had died.

And this is biblical: “The person who sins is the one who will die,” according to Ezekiel 18:4. Not the sinner’s father, or son, or any other innocent person, but the wicked man himself. Nothing else would be just. “Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness” (vs. 20).

How is it, then, that Christ’s death is different? If it is not ok, not just, for a substitute to die in Saddam’s place, why is it ok for a substitute to die in mine?

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Profile

profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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