Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Stranger or the Outsider

I was reading Albert Camus' The Outsider (as my copy says) and felt like I understood Christ's sacrifice a little more.

Through Part two - the incarceration, the trial and death sentence - I felt so terrible for Meursault. It seemed so strange to have something like this happen to him. The guy he killed was not even connected to him but to that horrible neighbor of his. He had no reason to kill him but he just did. And then the trial seemed completely absurd! Concentrating on why the man did not show emotion at his mother's funeral can hardly be a reason to send him to the guillotine. I wonder, couldn't they have claimed temporary insanity or something? It was all very weird. And as the trial went on and I could tell that he was not going to get let of the hook I felt so helpless, and hopeless, and really... weird. I can't describe it any other way really. It was all just bizarre! How can a person's life just turn around like that. And then I felt like... isn't there anybody who could get him out of this mess? Anybody at all?

Then for a brief moment I kind of understood the whole idea of us being in sin, and being helpless, hopeless, destitute and suddenly someone comes and takes our place and dies in place of us. And we are let off the hook! Really! We goof up and then we are let of the hook coz someone else takes the blame. But that can't happen in a matter of fact way y'see. If it did it would be like us as kids, trying to put the blame on someone else for what we did and we get off easy. That would mean nothing. It would be wrong even. But to understand the wrongdoing (and this has nothing to do with the character in the book since one is never sure if he really does understand) and to feel that blackhole in ones life and that disorientation from seeing your life fall apart and the fear of having to meet a bitter end... is that repentance? Is that what it is?

We mostly hear, "Christ died for your sins." I think it might be better to hear more "Christ died in place of you." This is also a concept that has come to me from church I don't deny it... but I guess one needs to live life and learn.