Have you ever taken “the fall” for someone else? When you receive the punishment that somebody else deserves? Perhaps you saw a friend in need of help and you stepped up to pay the bill. You have to really care about someone to take their debt on your shoulders. When we see someone stand in the gap for another person, our respect for them tends to shoot through the roof. But maybe we feel a sense of guilt and shame for not being willing or able to do it ourselves!
More often, when we “take the fall” for someone else, it seems to be unwillingly. We get blamed for something we didn’t do and have to pay a penalty that we don’t deserve. Or we bear the consequences for someone else’s mistake. Oftentimes the costs we pay because of the failure of others can be hefty. This happens a lot in families. How many of you were unfairly blamed for what a sibling did? Happens to all of us that weren’t only children.
It also happens often in the business world- when co-workers dodge responsibility and it lands on you. Some companies are great at customer service, but others will make mistakes on your order and still stick you with the bill. Sometimes doctors make the wrong diagnosis, give the wrong remedy, and create lasting damage.
This can really burn us, right? Do you get angry just listening to some of these things? They bring up memories when we shouldered consequences for things we didn’t do. This hurts on several different levels- 1) sometimes dealing with the mistakes of others is costly, and takes a lot of time, energy, and resources to fix. 2) This can be personal- and we can certainly take it personally. It isn’t just that we suffer loss- it is that we suffer loss caused by someone else who couldn’t care less about us. Pretty disrespectful. 3) It is unfair. Our world is built off the law of crime and consequence, cause and effect. That’s what justice departments exist to enforce. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When someone commits the action and the reaction falls on someone else, that’s just not right!
This weekend we will look at the most unfair event in all of human history, when the perfect Son of God paid the price for all the wretchedness of all mankind. That includes our wickedness as well. This is something we often cringe at, because we know it isn’t fair. Which throws our sense of justice off and messes with our psyches. However, if we can get past the fact that Jesus’ death wasn’t fair, we can see the motive behind it, and experience life that is otherwise unfathomable. A life of peace, joy, and resilience to the brokenness all around us.
I invite you to join with us this Palm Sunday as we look at Isaiah 53:1-6 together. Our socially distanced service is Saturday afternoon at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online if you can’t make it in person. Please consider joining us for our Palm Sunday potluck breakfast at 9 for a great time of fellowship prior to the service.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!
-Pastor Nathan Rice