The death of Jesus is not unlike the sacrificial deaths of the prophets before him, as well as those who come after. In fact, Jesus recognizes this, when, in Luke 11:51, he ties his imminent death directly to those of Abel and Zechariah, giving evidence to how violence, as 6th century BCE Greek philosopher Heraclitus argued, is indeed humanity’s logos, or “structuring principle of reality.” But the death of Jesus is unique as well, for it undoubtedly exposes where innocence truly lies: with the scapegoated victim. It does this by taking sacrifice from the sacred place—in the temple, behind the curtain—to the public space, “outside the city gate” (Hebrews 13:12). And when this happens, the veil becomes torn and the powers and principalities are exposed for the satanic systems that they are. Or, as St. Paul puts it, “a public example was made of them”(Colossians 2:15—my paraphrase).
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