The cross of Christ deals with real sins, not imaginary ones. It deals with real sins by offering free and full forgiveness. It “deals” with imaginary sins by enabling us to see them for what they are — vain constructions of our own imaginations.
When it comes to issues of race, the cross of Christ puts enmity to death. The problem that must be overcome is racial animosity — hatred, spite, bitterness, and envy.
“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Eph. 2:15–16).
In the cross, God crucified racial enmity. He killed hostility, and because Jesus really died, He killed it dead — but only in Christ.
Because liberals believe that man is basically good, they have identified the culprit as “prejudice,” or “discrimination.” In this scenario, everybody is supposed to mean well, but must be instructed on the proper ways of staying out of micro-aggressions.
This can work for a time. If you hector people enough about the little things, they will stuff the big things. For a time.
But then something happens, or a series of things happen, and all the pent-up animosity erupts. Now the thing to remember about an animosity eruption is that by this time in the cycle nobody cares what you think of them. You try to remonstrate with them . . . “but that’s racist!” And they reply, “So?”
Over the last week we have seen anti-cop protesters chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” On the other hand, we have seen a wildly tone deaf misappropriation of Eric Garner’s last words — pro-cop demonstrators wearing “I Can Breathe” T-shirts. If you point out how inflammatory this is, both ways, you will be surprised to discover that being inflammatory was the point.
Liberal bromides cannot deal with this. Feel good gospel coalitiony group hugs can’t deal with it. Those with an impotent message have to pretend that racial animosity is really a matter of petty bigotry, because they think they have a message that can handle petty bigotry. But in order to deal with racial animosity, racial hatred, racial hostility, Jesus had to die and rise. The good news is that He did so.
Because He rose from the dead, black men can repent of their envy, hatred, and resentment. Because He died as a perfect sacrifice for sin, white men can repent of their insolence and contempt. And we have gotten to the point in this story of ours, where this message — the death of race hate in the death of Jesus — is a message that needs to be preached. Because of the nature of the message, the color of the one preaching it is irrelevant. The only color that matters is how red the blood was.