There’s an old joke about two campers out in the woods who startle a bear and wind up on the run with the bear in hot pursuit. One camper screams to the other one, “Do you think you really think you can run faster than a bear?” The other camper screams back, “No! – I just have to run faster than you!”
1) Life is unpredictable and does not always follow cause and effect the way we think it should.
2) We are just as bound to sin as our neighbor because the standard is God’s law, not our neighbor’s sin.
Our fear of these two facts lead us right back to the false assumption that keeping ahead of the scandals can keep us ahead of the game itself. Because we are afraid, we surround ourselves with the right kind of people: folks who have it all together, who know that if you do right, you’ll be right. And so we go on protecting ourselves by ostracizing the wrong sorts of people and the unlucky and the sinners until we’ve created our own little kingdom where goodness thrives because we eliminate anyone or anything that shows the slightest bit of bad luck, trouble or sin. And we make our peace with this by telling ourselves that it was our neighbors’ sins that put them out of the group. We confess that our neighbors are in bondage to sin and cannot free themselves – but that’s not our problem.
“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”
The dangerous confession of the sins of others is the spiritual equivalent of cotton candy laced with asbestos: sweet to the taste, but completely unfulfilling, and poisonous to boot. There is no way to climb to heaven on the shoulders of the sinners around you – Jesus won’t have it that way. The cross was the end of humanity’s attempt to justify itself. We killed the innocent Son of God because we could not stand the thought of God being merciful to sinners. The cross with which we are marked at baptism marks us with the death of Jesus as well as his resurrection, so that we will be saved in his name alone.
“While Jesus does not honor their illusion that they can protect themselves in this way, he does seem to honor the vulnerability that their fright has opened up in them. It is not a bad thing for them to feel the full fragility of their lives. It is not a bad thing for them to count their breaths in the dark -- not if it makes them turn toward the light.”
 Brown Taylor, Barbara. Quoted from http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=641