Monday, July 5, 2010
In the 556 known healing temples of Asklepius in ancient Greece and in the temples in Israel in the period of the Ancient of Days, goats and other animals including chickens for small sins or doves were sacrificed to assuage the gods or God. These were "scapegoats". In Ashkelon it was the first born sacrificed, and in the Aztec culture, the best looking girl in town. They substituted for the sins of others and paid the price. The concept of Jesus as the" scapegoat" of the world originated much later with this construct of atonement , but he, as far as I can see, never allowed people to get off the hook for their own actions in his lifetime. They needed to move off the spot for salvation. We still have scapegoats of a different kind. We might even allow them to sacrifice themselves to atone for us. The attribution of it is, to your parents, your situation, your mate, your hard life, your teacher, the other race, your spiritual advisor, or whatever. They are as much positioned as a scapegoat as the sacrificed in the old days. Piet Hein said, "What ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger"! We have to take responsibility for our actions, willing ourselves to do the right thing, come what may, and loving our God given selves then, for what we are, rather than what we think we might have been. We can't forever blame anyone else or anything else! That's not the way out of the morass! As Pogo says, "We have seen the enemy, and it is us"!