1. He begins to feel the poison of his sin, and he has been told that Christ has died for his sins: but what good will that do?
2. For, in the first place, he has not sinned against God and God alone, but against another who has, too, been poisoned, and is now too distant to make amends with: and, second, what assurance will divine forgiveness give him, save that he may not be cast into fire and brimstone? for, the way he feels now, he may as well already be in hell, and, though he may yet be saved, will still have the agony of having passed through hell before.
3. So if Christ has died that he may sin no more, it is too late. So is it too late if Christ has died that his sins will be of no consequence during this life, for the pain has already set in. And if Christ has died that his sins will be of no consequence in the grand scheme of things, when he and the other are both dead, how has Christ made a difference?
4. So Good Friday and Easter are for him not a comfort, but a warning: that, though God himself has conquered death, he yet bears the scars in his side, and how much more, then, might frail fallen man suffer through life, though life be eternal.
* * *
1. He is doing alright, and, though God may be there in the storm or the battle, where is God in the supermarket, in the bar, in the street between the bar and the newsstand?
2. So Good Friday and Easter are for him not a comfort, but a warning: that anything terrible could happen to a man just like him, though that man be the most charitable man and God himself.
* * *
Therefore, at all times, especially around Good Friday and Easter, let no person ever become complacent; let all remember that some of the followers of God were, too, put to death, perhaps as cruelly as Christ himself; let each person take up his cross daily by reminding himself that these are not the end-times; let nobody feel any more or less redeemed as every man has been or is or ever will be, but instead strive constantly for, and pray constantly for, the avoidance of evil. For the sins of the world are to be taken away not by neutralising the power of sin, but by affirming it, that no person may tread near it, and then sin itself will pass away.