V. 56. Page 205
Brown critiques Judaism: “…it does not provide complete redemption for the soul. In other words, it does not bring the assurance of forgiveness of sins, the assurance of being in a right standing with God, the assurance that upon death, we will be received into His eternal presence.”
I don’t see the Christian’s assurance of forgiveness, and the Jew’s lack thereof as a shortcoming of Judaism or as an advantage of Christianity. For people, who are tainted with the character faults of pride, envy, self-centeredness and greed, to stand there and to proclaim that they are “assured of being in a right standing with God” is nothing that I envy. For a person who is tainted with these flaws to be “assured” that they have been cleansed of these flaws, is something that I envy even less.
The assurance that the Jew experiences, is the assurance that King David experienced: “Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, because You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Wherever we are, God is with us. Not a god, who depends upon schools of theologians and libraries of writings to justify our devotion to him, but the God who holds the breath of every being in His hand, including our own breath, and including the breath of Jesus in those few years that he was granted on God’s earth.
We walk in the assurance that God is merciful and just and that He does not demand of us that which we are incapable of bringing forth. We experience the assurance that God accepts our sincere repentance to the degree that He forgets our sins. Sincere repentance is an ongoing, never-ending process that requires as to constantly seek greater depths of sincerity and of truth. As we draw ever closer to God, we are flooded with the light of His love – every time we are granted the privilege of fulfilling one of His commandments, and every minute that we are granted the privilege of breathing His air and walking His earth. Our hearts are steadfast with the assurance that His purpose on earth is being fulfilled through us as His beloved firstborn son.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal