Fellowship at Cross Creek
The Story of Sin…
By Joseph M. Cross
Part III: Oversin: The Jewish Concept of Sin Takes an Odd, but Predictable Turn…
11) After Israel (or Judah’s) Babylonian exile (seventy years) for having miserably failed in her attempts to deal with her own sin, a Jewish remnant returns to a discarded, abandoned homeland in hopes of rebuilding their nation. And while Judah will begin to rebuild her temple and, a century later, her broken-down city walls, her struggle with sin, aided by rabbis, teachers or legal experts, takes on an interesting, and yet predictable twist. In order to keep Judah from becoming unfaithful to the Law again, and thereby, once again suffering the devastating consequences that she had already suffered at the hands of invading superpowers, the Law and compliance with the Law goes into a kind of super-legalistic hyper-drive. In addition, since no one but the religious lawyers or legal experts can keep up with all the laws, and the laws around the laws, religious hypocrisy also explodes. It’s not what’s real that counts, but only what appear to be real. Finally, Spirituality or religious purity is determined not by one’s righteous, moral actions or convictions, but by whom one associates with. Thus hanging with an unclean Gentile or a non-pious Jew, who hangs around with unclean Gentiles, makes one morally “unclean” and thus, a “sinner.”
12) Added to the ritualistic sacrifices in dealing with sin are now good works and suffering, including martyrdom.
13) In addition, the rabbis taught that the Messiah (the Anointed One), or King David’s promised and belated heir, would come and eradicate all sin.
Part IV: Yah-Saves Becomes a Friend to “Sinners.” Continue reading