Christian Discourses 1848 – Discourse IV 1 Corinthians 11:23 the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed. p. 275ff
When the congregation, every time these words are said, “Our Lord Jesus Christ one the night he was betrayed,” surround him anxiously but fervently, as if to ward of the treason, as if to pledge him their loyalty even though everyone else deserted him – let no one dare to forget that on that night he was along as an accomplice, let no one dare to forget this pitiful prototype whom in other ways he scarcely resembles – the Apostle Peter. Alas, we human beings, even if we are of the truth, are still alongside the truth; when we walk side by side with the man who is the Truth, when the Truth is the criterion, we are still like children alongside a giant; in the moment of decision we still remain – accomplices. Soren Kierkegaard, Christian Discourses p. 278
Oh, that this happened is to me enough to make it impossible ever to be happy in the thoughtless and worldly way the natural man is, as the youth in his inexperience is, as the child in its innocence is. I do not need to see more, if indeed anything more terrible has happened in the world, something that can terrify the heart more, since there probably is something that can terrify the senses more. Nor is there need for anything terrible to happen to me – this is enough for me; I have seen love betrayed, and I have understood something about myself, that I also am a human being, and to be a human being is to be a sinful human being. I have not become misanthropic because of that, least of all so that I would hate other people, but I will never forget this sight nor what I have understood about myself. The one whom the human race crucified was the Redeemer; as someone belonging to the human race, I, for this very reason feel the need for a redeemer – never has the need for a redeemer been clearer than when the human race crucified the Redeemer.
From this moment I will no longer believe in myself; I will not let myself be deceived, as if I were better because I was not tried as were those contemporaries. No, apprehensive about myself as I have become, I will seek my refuge with him, the Crucified One. I will beseech him to save me from evil and to save me from myself. Only when saved by him and with him, only when he holds me fast, do I know that I will not betray him.
The anxiety that wants to frighten me away from him, so that I, too, could betray him, is precisely what will attach me to him; then I dare to hope that I will hold fast to him – how would I not dare to hope this when that which wants to frighten me away is what binds me to him! I will not and cannot do it, because he moves me irresistibly; I will not inclose myself in myself with this anxiety or with this guilt consciousness that I, too, have betrayed him – I would rather, as a guilty one, belong to him redeemed.
Oh, when he walked about in Judea, he moved many by his beneficial miracles; but nailed to the cross he performs an even greater miracle, he performs love’s miracle, so that, without doing anything – by suffering he moves every person who has a heart! Soren Kierkegaard, Christian Discourses 1848 p. 280
Soren Kierkegaard was the man who wanted to be guilty so he could be redeemed.