“Relieve the distress of my heart,
free me from my sufferings.
See my misery and pain,
forgive all my sins.”
From what i have learned over the years, there is a slight difference of what “sin” is in the mindset of the Jews of the ancients and how Christians view it. AS I approach it, take no offence in what I write. I am not declaring myself as an expert. I just have made an observation that we don’t look at scriptures the same way and it is mainly because of how we perceive “sin.” Christians take sin much more seriously than did the Jews even in Christ’s time. To the Believers of Paul’s doctrines and the early chruch, sin was grievous. Sin was what put us out of the Garden of Eden. Sin is the Offences against God and only He can forgive or we go to hell for eternity.
But for the Jews, it is not a big deal. In their minds, or so I’ve been taught, sin is just making a mistake or more literally, missing the mark. There is no fear of the loss of Heaven as most Jews did not even believe in man going to heaven. There is life then there is Shoal or Hades…a place of death. Sin is not damnation to Hell. Perhaps that is also why the philosophy of the Jews was more temporal than spiritual. To them it was more important to please God for fear of being struck down rather than obeying God for His Love.
An as a philosophy of life, the Hebrew People looked at sin as missed opportunities rather than offences against God. That brings me to another point, a good point that other religions do not incorporate in their faiths. The Jewish faith is a fatalist faith, based on result of making the best of life, of not missing opportunities or missing the mark. The Christian faith is based on seeing God’s opportunities made for us to take, or living life in God’s will. No other religions have either of these understandings, both which rely on opportunities of God for man. Each other religion either traps the believer into a vicious cycle of life, death,new life and new death which offered no out or advancement in this life; or they are pure carnal-ism with promises of more of the same in the next life. Judaism and Christianity are the only walks that promise hope in this world and the next, in this lifetime and in the eternal life.
I want to look at the “missed opportunities” of Judaism. There is repentance but it seems that reconciliation is missing. Even though the Prophets all said to “Repent!” and there is the cry to restore my soul, The Jews still look for a kingdom on earth while the Christians seek after the Kingdom of Heaven. So it is in my mind the the Jews of Christ’s day not only “missed the mark” they missed the boat. [A little humour there…don’t take me to seriously] But then the Christians also may have taken sin more serious that it was intended. Yes sin is offensive to God,Yes sin can earn us damnation, but not because of the offence of sin itself but because we have taken our eyes off of God and put them on the things of earth.
We too have missed the mark, we have taken our eyes off the target which is the love of god and the Justice of His Law. Our sin offends God more because they mean we no longer seek after His Heart, we desire temporal, carnal and selfish things rather than the goodness of His Promise. That is the sin, That is what Adam did in the Garden, that is what Lucifer did in the heavens, that is what the Jews did time and time again which led them into captivity. So it is not so much that the mindset of the Jews and Christians are different as to the goal of each is not the same. Both seek to love God,Both rely on God and both put their hope in God. But also both miss the mark in Loving God in the fullest. The other religions of the world don’t have a target to miss, they are shooting into the wind without God to guide their shots. Ina closing shot, I say to each of you. Focus not on the sins of the past, they have missed and gone astray, but instead focus on the making the mark with goodness, mercy and compassion. Seek after the Heart of God though the offering of Christ and rejoice in hitting the target God has set before you.