This post popped up in my web-o-tron interface. I saw the header, and peeped “ooh!” This topic is one of my pet peeves about Christianity. Let’s see what the author has to say, that’ll clarify the matter.
Within their mythology, it’s a good question… why was Jesus’s death needed?
If the death of Christ on the cross was not a sacrifice for sins, someone should have told the writers of the New Testament.
If slavery was wrong, someone should have told the New Testament writers too. They didn’t get the memo.
Is this really the first argument – that it’s in the Bible… so there?
John the Baptist stated, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) The image of Christ as the Lamb is a clear reference to the sacrificial nature of the Lord’s death on the cross.
Alright. Who knows why that’s the system?
Paul wrote, “God presented Him (Christ) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.” (Romans 3:25) Jesus atoned for our sins when He was sacrificed on the cross. And John penned, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
How does that work? Substitutional atonement is bizarre. If I commit a crime, can my friend go to jail for me, and leave me “not guilty”?
The model described here seems to be “God’s pissed, and someone is going to take the fall. Who will it be?” It’s a scapegoat judicial system. Jesus was the loophole to fix a systemic problem.
The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament merely provided an outward cleansing.
Speaking of goats… how? How does this clean anything? A cleansing of what? And how?
The sacrifice of Jesus is what cleanses man’s heart. The writer of Hebrews put it this way: “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:13,14)
Setting aside the literal concept of pulling out my heart and cleaning it in the kitchen sink, this sounds more like beating up a punching bag to make yourself feel better.
Why not community service? Why not sacrifice your calories and time to improve the world? That way, you can atone and do some good, that’s not mercilessly slaughtering some innocent animal?
Imagine if the U.S. judicial system worked like that. You’re caught creating stellar graffiti art, and instead of being sentenced to 250 hours of community service, you’re required to raise and sacrifice 3 goats.
The Father accepts believers in Christ because of the sacrifice of His Son. “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) “By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14)
What? Why? The judge’s son goes to jail forever, therefore, any future criminals are automatically off the hook? As long as they “believe in” the judge’s son? Does the son need a lot of pen pals, while in jail, and the judge decides to extend clemency to anyone who does this? How is this justice?
Without the sacrifice of Jesus, no one could approach the Father and live. We are not holy enough.
Great… this again. You know what? An entity where people die, when they’re too close, is not a “perfect” entity. I can imagine an entity, that’s even better, that doesn’t have this fatal flaw. (deja vu)
Maybe this author can explain what “holy” means, and how it isn’t some meaningless buzzword?
But through faith in Christ, our sins are washed away as a result of His sacrifice on the cross. “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9:27,28)
… but how? “By through believing in Superman, every time you jaywalked, no longer happened.”
Or is the author just saying that God is willing to forgive you, because you “believe in” superman? That’s a strange rule.
So was it necessary for Jesus to die? Or could God have accomplished the same result while allowing Jesus to avoid death?
That’s what I’m dying to know. I’d think a better system would be that everyone goes to some kind of purgatory stage, and works off their “debt” (maybe as guardian angels), until they’ve atoned for their own crimes.
Did you park in a handicap sparking spot? That’s 15 minutes of guardian-angelling.
I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with Hitler being my guardian angel.. or the other billions of others he’d have to angel for. Okay, so the system has it’s flaws.
God established the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. And God came up with the plan for Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins on the cross. In other words, the sacrificial death of Christ was not man’s invention. Man merely participated in the process as he arrested and then killed the Son of God.
Okay, but why did God come up with the plan to work that way? Was Jesus’ sacrifice needed because God said so?
It’s striking to me that, for an omniscient being, a human is able to come up with better plans.
The Father is God. The Son is God. And the Holy Spirit is God. The Father and the Holy Spirit did not die on the cross, but only the Son. He was the perfect sacrifice which our sins required. God loved us enough to sacrifice His Son to save us. And Jesus loved His Father enough and us enough to go through with it.
Why do our “sins” require people/animals to be killed? If we’re assuming this premise, the above starts to make sense, I suppose.
It was necessary for Jesus to die if we were to be rescued.
God could have left us “hanging out to dry.” Instead, He chose to send His Son to hang on the cross in our place. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) You can be a gracious receiver of God’s loving gift, or a conscientious objector to God’s plan. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would turn a blind eye to God’s amazing grace.
The only thing amazing here is his complete ineptitude in crafting a sensible solution to a “problem” that he decided was a problem, and apparently decided that the solution to the problem had to be [arbitrarily chosen action XYZ]. If God created morality, he created this requirement too.
Just because man is uncomfortable with the sacrificial system of the Old Testament does not mean God is uncomfortable with it. After all, God designed it when man rebelled against his Creator.
I’m uncomfortable with God’s comfort with it. So is the author saying that this “justice system” is basically some kind of revenge scheme against a group of entities that are exercising their free will, that he game them… and wanted to them to use it?
God’s Word declares, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Why blood? What’s the deal with blood?
Does a bloodless death not count? What if Jesus was shot with a phaser set on disintegrate? Would that be invalid?
When Christ came into the world, He defeated sin, death and the devil. He did this by dying for our sins on the cross, and then rising again. “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Cor. 5:7) And so it’s a done deal. You cannot undo it. You can either accept Christ’s death on the cross as the payment for your sin, or you can reject it and ignore it altogether. But either way, Christ was sacrificed for the sins of the world. And your belief or unbelief won’t change what is absolutely true and holy.
Superman and Batman are doing it wrong. Instead of fighting sin, death and the devil… and they had to do was be sacrificed? Maybe Batman walks into a crowd of oddly dressed henchmen… and then gets beaten to death.
And as long as you “accept” batman’s doing this, the criminal justice system will overlook whatever crap you do. Or maybe just a few things. After all, it Batman wasn’t the judge’s son. That matters.
Why else would “Good Friday” be considered good? It’s good because it was God’s plan of redemption. “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2) “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
I was actually born on Good Friday. This may be shocking, but I don’t actually mind if it isn’t “good”.
Not to out-do the initial argument, this one seems to be saying that the fact we consider Good Friday to be good, is evidence for the sacrifice, which is evidence for the necessity of Jesus’s death? Is that it? Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
So you tell me. Was it necessary for Jesus to die?
No. I don’t think so at all. I’m still wondering when the author will actually defend the notion. The closest he got was “the Bible says so.”
I don’t mean fulfilling the rules God set down… I mean explaining why those rules are the way they are, in the first place. “Dusty old book say so” is insufficient.
Better yet, tell it to God. He is your Judge. And ultimately, your sins will either be left at the cross as you trust Jesus for salvation, or your sins will be left upon you. And no one enjoys leaving a courtroom with the weight of his transgressions upon himself, while the punishment for his behavior awaits him. And yet what else do you think will happen on Judgment Day for those who are not forgiven?
So it comes back to you. Belief or unbelief. Christ or some other approach. You make the call. And then prepare to meet your Maker.
That day is coming my friend, regardless of what you or I think about it. You see, Jesus didn’t die for nothing. It was necessary because it was God’s perfect plan of redemption for sinners. Period.
Step 1: Demonstrate that any of that is true… otherwise, I can simply plug in the reference points for any other totalitarian religion, and it’ll be equally without merit.
I dismiss your “might makes right, and oh, whether you want to believe it or not, it’s true” gibberish.
I mentioned that my “guardian angel system” had a flaw. I’d like to point out that this Biblical setup has its flaws too.
It has a major flaw that requires you to believe unevidenced, undemonstrated claims from a book that’s been damningly found to be very contrived.
It has a colossal flaw that requires a person to shut down or suppress his/her abilities for reason, logic and critical thinking, before it’s even possible to accept these claims as true.
It has a gargantuan flaw that requires the decimation of common human decency, morality and justice, in order to adopt this psychotic version.
It was the truly horrific – straight from the depths of Mordor – mechanism of requiring the murder of the innocent to operate.
If someone wrongs me, and I had a choice between having the person tortured, versus having that person fix the problems he/she created… I’d go with the latter.
God prefers the former.