Immersed in Christ: Thursday, July 29, 2021
Experiencing the Incarnation
This also makes it specifically Christian, because Christianity is precisely and uniquely the religion of divine-human interaction with God made flesh in Jesus Christ. Before Jesus came, God forgave every-body who asked him to. Now, in addition to this, he forgives through human interaction with Jesus alive, present, and acting in his body on earth. That is the special value of sacramental absolution.
Confession gives relief. It is as simple as that. Go back in time. See yourself in Jerusalem, standing in a crowd, listening to Jesus preach. You are weighed down by some really terrible sin you have committed, and guilt is eating you up. You know from the prophets that God forgives. But still you feel doubt. You believe and you don’t dare to believe. You feel some reassurance, but you don’t feel really embraced. Wouldn’t it make a difference if you could go up to Jesus, tell him your sin, pour out your heart to him, feel him reach out and touch you in response, and hear him saying to you with a human voice full of love and compassion, “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace”? That is what confession is.