Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Were the wages of sin really death - for Jesus?

I've been thinking a lot about sin lately, and about atonement. About what the crucifixion is really all about. What it accomplished. What would have happened if it hadn't. And I'm coming to some weird conclusions.

Like I am thinking, the point of the crucifixion and resurrection was that Christ conquered death, right? So if he'd been killed another way at another time, he still could have risen and conquered death. And if he hadn't been killed at all, would he have died of old age? Or would he have just gone on living? In the latter scenario, he still would have conquered death!

Was he killed as a necessary blood sacrifice for the atonement of our sins? Or did he just piss off the establishment to the point where they were fed up enough to kill him? If he didn't come expressly to die, but rather to live (live the "eternal kind of life" as Dallas Willard puts it), then that would put to bed a lot of troubling things in theology. Like whether he had a choice, whether Judas had a choice, why God would demand such a sacrifice, and how in the world does God killing Godself do anything for us anyway??

It's like God set up this system and then he was bound by it? It just doesn't seem right. People are fine with him being unbound by logic, time, etc. (which, by the way, I don't agree with), but somehow they think he is stuck in his own outdated sacrificial rules. Hmmmm. Does that really follow?

Anyway this isn't really advent thinking, is it? I should ponder this during Lent. I should also wait until I'm in a sotierology class so I can get some assistance from outside my own head!


Anonymous said...

I have also been torn on the purpose and meaning of Christ's death (among numerous other religious topics)for many years. Why did Christ need to die for our sins to be forgiven, couldn't God have just forgiven them because he loved us. Something struck me while watching The Passion Of The Christ, that had never occured to me before. That insight/revelation went even further tonight as I was reading on this site. Basically, it is that Jesus' death was all about setting an example for us in how to live our lives. As I was watching the movie and saw that after all the horrible things done to him and even as they were driving nails into his hand, he was asking God to forgive them. And I start cussing and screaming if I am running late and the guy in front of me takes more than 2 seconds to step on the gas when the light turns green. What struck me tonight was that it was his entire life, not just his death, that was the example. He didn't care what anyone thought other than God (well, and his Mom). He did what he knew to be right no matter the cost.

Unknown said...

Something you might want to consider: Christ's death parallels the old Jewish system of sacrificing a lamb to atone for sins. In this case, Christ is the lamb- The Lamb of God. He had to die in the way that He did to atone for our sins. (similarly parallels the Passover). Also, the crucifiction in particular parallels the story of the snake on a pole in numbers 21.

and I agree about the Judas thing. However, the theology of the event was not well understood at the time, creating that image of judas the betrayer, and ignorance of theology now perpetuates it.