We were on our way back to the classroom from assembly; I was helping one of our less mobile students down the stairs, when there was an almighty bang, followed by an acrid smell of burning. Some of our more able students had gone on ahead. Panic! I quickly passed my supported student onto another member of staff and raced off to find out what had happened. The new microwave door was open, and fragments of charred wood and graphite were evidence that SOMEONE had microwaved a pencil. Cries of “It wasn’t me!” came at me as I entered the classroom, but finally the corporate finger of blame came to rest on one likely individual.
So whose fault was it? The lad in question who had certainly done it? The staff member who had inadvertently left the microwave plugged in, against policy? The education system that did not give us enough staff to have eyes absolutely everywhere? Or me, for teaching the kids to experiment???
Pharaoh finally confessed he’d been wrong; that he had sinned in not letting the people of Israel go free to worship their God (Exodus 9:27). But he shared out the blame – “The Lord is right, and I and my people are in the wrong.” Now I’ve read these chapters pretty carefully, and I don’t recollect that the people had much say in the matter. Even when it’s pretty obvious that he was the only culprit, he tried to minimise it by spreading the blame. And we’ve probably all worn that tee shirt.
Jesus was different though. He took the blame for all the bad things humanity had done. When he chose to let himself be put to death on the cross, he took the punishment for the guilty ones. “My people; my creation; my problem to solve.” So my wrongdoing was paid for, and I go free.
But the day might come when I have to ‘take the fall’ for being a Christian; for standing up for Christian principles; for acknowledging Jesus when it’s not popular or expedient, or even legal. Will I be ready, willing, able? I don’t suppose I can ever really know beforehand, whether I’ll be able to stand up for him in such difficult circumstances. So I’ll try and walk closely with him now, and build myself up in the faith while I can, because I want to be able to stand. And one thing I am sure of – the closer I walk with him now, the more likely I am to stand in that day.