During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the pope said Jesus came into the world to take everyone's sins upon Himself. Pope Francis asked Christians to look at the crucifix in light of the Redemption.
In Jesus, made sin, we see the utter defeat of Christ. He doesn't pretend to die. He doesn't pretend to suffer, alone, abandoned. 'Father, why have you forsaken me?'
The pope explained that comprehending the mystery of the cross is not easy. He said one will never arrive at a conclusion. “We can only contemplate, pray and give thanks,” he added.
EXCERPTS FROM POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican News)
“A serpent is certainly not a friendly animal.... They're always associated with evil. Even in Revelation, the serpent is specifically the animal that the devil uses in order to cause sin. In the Book of Revelation, the devil is called the ‘ancient serpent,’ the one who from the beginning bites, poisons, destroys, kills.”
“It's always the same music. ‘Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert?’ …. Their imagination…always went back to Egypt. ‘We were doing well there. We ate well.’
“It also seems that the Lord can't put up with His people at this moment. He gets angry. The wrath of God is seen at times, and so, ‘the Lord sent among the people seraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died.’ At that time the serpent was always the image of evil. In seeing the serpents, the people saw their sin…what they had done wrong…. They repent.”
“The core of the prophecy is that Jesus made Himself sin for us. He did not sin; He made Himself sin. As St. Peter says in his letter, ‘He bore all of our sins in Himself,’ and so, when we gaze on the crucifix, we think about the Lord who suffers, and all of that is true. But let's stop a moment in order to arrive at the center of that truth. ‘At this moment you seem to be the greatest sinner! You made yourself sin.’ He took upon himself all of our sins…. There was a vendetta by the doctors of the law who didn't want Him. All of that is true, but the truth that comes from God is that He came into the world to take our own sins upon Himself to the point of making Himself sin…. Our sins are there.”
“It's not easy to understand this and should we think about it, we'll never arrive at a conclusion. We can only contemplate, pray, and give thanks.”
Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Claudia Torres