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By resurrection Jesus is cleared of the scapegoat charges against him…

By resurrection Jesus is cleared of the scapegoat charges against him. But the resurrection also acquits those who scapegoated him. While they certainly committed the crime and are certainly guilty, it is also incontestable that the one they are charged with killing is alive. They can be declared not guilty of Jesus’ death by the fact that Jesus is not dead. The prosecution cannot proceed in this capital case without a dead body, and the tomb is empty. What the resurrection presents in court is a living person, what [Markus] Barth calls “the evidence of the raised victim.” It is thus righteous of God to account the accused not guilty, or justified by resurrection.

Of course, the risen Christ could justly press for retribution against those who had wronged him, even if they did not succeed in silencing him permanently. But this, which is his right, is also his right to decline. And Christ does so, becoming instead an advocate for sinners.

— S. Mark Heim, Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross, Kindle location 1980

I got this book for Christmas and am finally getting the chance to dig into it. This is my first trip into the Girardian scapegoating theory of the atonement, and it’s quite a ride.

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