There ought to be something that is fundamental to our preaching especially in the Lenten season.  The Gospel, as Paul told us “is foolishness to Greeks and a scandal to the Jews”.  It is in aversion to what human beings think about themselves and even a fundamental attack upon what they want to think of God.  Even Lutheran’s have come out against the shadows of the Cross that come out in theological dissertations.  The idea of blood atonement is repugnant to the modern mind.  A God that would demand a blood payment for guilt from anyone let alone His own Son strikes modern humans as a God who cannot demand our respect, never mind our devotion.  Feminism has spoken of God sacrificing His one and only Son as a manifestation of Divine child abuse and a paternalist horror show.  The shadow that exhibits the concept of “Christus Viktor” that had at one time a great following has been beaten down by modernism’s claim that there is no victory over sin or death or the power of the devil since those are outworn and medieval propositions.

So modern man denies God as Creator and believes that we can destroy the planet in ten years.  Modern man rejects the Creator and believes that we are our own God’s and we can love and marry and live anyway we want.  Modern man rejects the deliverer and sees sin in collective political ways that deny the abject nature of humanity.  We deny the deliverer and seek to deliver ourselves and we are good delivery folks – we deliver ourselves into the power of darkness.

The Scriptures however give us a rich range of images that show us what Christ has done to free us from sin and death and hell.  Lenten preaching gives us a wonderful opportunity to show that range and depth.  The question that human beings ask is “why did Christ die?”  The scriptures give us several answers and yet anyone of them taken by itself is incomplete.  Our task is to proclaim the fullness of God’s glory and his manifold and wonderful plan to save humanity.  There are shadows of the cross all over out there.  Christ as victor, as ransom, as sacrifice, as sin bearer, as justifier, they are all ought there and need to be heard again.

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