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Stories of Jesus

Chapter 4: The Stories


Part Two: Easter Jesus in old stories



Christians have always had a concise understanding Jesus’ death: He died to save us from our sins. We’re so used to that answer that we may not realize how mysterious it is. How does a death save from anything, much less sins that haven’t occurred yet? And what does salvation mean, anyway? I wouldn’t say that Christians haven’t had good answers to these questions, but the answers are more implicit than spelled out. They inhabit stories told (not just Bible stories), lives lived, prayers said and songs sung, and, especially, worship offered in the Church’s great liturgical traditions. But there comes a time when a more careful spelling out is required. Today’s skeptical age is such a time.


Following is a series of stories about death from the Older Testament. I will use them to try to do in my own way what the apostles must have done in their way and the Church throughout the ages has done in many ways—to find the meaning of Jesus’ life and, most especially, his death. I’ll do this by looking to the writings that were sacred to the apostles.

On to Sacred Violence and a Man Named Achan