god doesn’t need a cross.
if s/he does, then god does not know how to have healthy relationships. think about this very simply. if someone requires something from another to then be able to define a relationship, then the person needs a stand-in. a proxy to fulfill some invisible criteria to feel secure about the nature of any relationship. but in its essence, that person is not having a relationship with the person, but actually with the stand-in itself, for all intene purposes, the person that is in the relationship only appears as a consellation prize. but the very essence of the person if ignored and replaced by the stand-in. and so over time, what occurs is that the person who requires something to help define their relationship will over time begin defining the value of relationship solely based on how the person themselves fulfill the role of criteria and when that person fails, the needy person then becomes angry and disillusioned and will either separate literally or metaphorically from the relationship. this is the same with god and humanity if there is a need for any violent atonement theory.
imagine yourself without a name. now, without that name, would you still exist? would you still be important? would you still have value? is it the name, the label that actualy defines you or is their a deeper essence that can’t be seen but is still true of who you are regardless of a signifier that erupts out of and because of the existence of language and description? i believe this to be the same with god; god doesn’t require an atonement to either be god or to either love the whole of humanity. for if god needs it, then god relies upon the stand-in to define our relationship with her/him, which is not a relationship at all but rather a legal form of entanglement. a love that needs an object to focus itself on is what freud deems as anaclitic. that somehow love is actually nowhere present, but rather love becomes a mechanical equation whereby one must have the other to be defined (i.e., ‘if you love me, then you will do this’ and etc.). it seems, this is no love at all, but insecurity under the guise of love.
so, what would god look like without a cross? well, a god who loves humanity. a god who is head-over-heels about the very essence of humanity itself. a god who champions the very divinity s/he created within humanity to shine. a god who doesn’t need a stand-in to help him define his relationships. a god who is committed to the development of the very thing s/he created. a god who doesn’t need violence to prove his own self-worth. a god without a cross, also demonstrates to us that jesus died because he really believes, lov does win. this is what resurrection is all about, that violence (or even a god who needs violence) doesn’t have the last word, but rather that love does.
for god to need an atonement displaces the very unique essence of jesus the rabbi. if god is fueled by some transcendent bloodlust and is prone to fits of rage (as some of the torah demonstrates) then jesus the rabbi exists onl to fulfill a role and the person of jesus that historically existed is not important, for the role sidelines and marginalizes the being itself. this is the same with universal (contractual) ethics, because if we are required to follow a set of moral guidelines (for the sake of following them, that is) then our very essence (ontology) is displaced and dismissed as unecessary and without any value (unless we perform act ‘x’ for the benefit of all). and in that moment, what has occurred is that act ‘x’ has become more important than the essence of the person.
philosopher jacques derrida spoke on the distinction between the Being and the essence of Being and also love versus the essence of love. when someone loves another, for some, they love things about the other, and so when those things fade (i.e.,beauty, personality, similar likes and etc.) love dies, it ceases to exist when that interest disappears. for all intense purposes, the person becomes an atheist toward love, even if they ‘keep’ their marital commitments, they no longer love because it is based upon a thing and not the essence of the being. and so if we spend our time dissecting the ‘things’ of another person, we are then driven by obsession toward those ‘things’. we cannot see beyond them or see that person beyond the values of those things. if we love their very essence then this is when we truly accept them. this principle works on both levels: from god to man, and from man to god.
then what this all means is that god lies naked, exposed. god is then god. and this god is inviting not because we are commanded to enter into relationship with him, but rather is inviting because s/he desires to be with us all.