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This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time, but I never felt comfortable asking anyone about it. It seems like such an obvious thing, so obvious that I am perplexed as to why I don't understand it.

 

It is said that Jesus died for our sins. That God sacrificed his only son for us, that he paid the ultimate price. The thing I don't get is....how does this work? How does the death of one release us from sin? The sins still happened. The consequences still resound. How does the son of God dying "pay" for this? What is "payment" in this context? Is it like an exchange? A barter? If it is, why would the death of God's son (which one could argue is not a good thing) pay for sins (again, not a good thing). It's like saying that crashing my new car will release me from mortgage payment on my house. I guess what's missing for me is the relationship, the thread, connecting Jesus' death with my sins.

 

I am probably making no sense. If so, then forgive me. If you have any clue as to what I'm trying to get out here, perhaps you have insight.

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Jenell's right; that the need for substitutionary sacrifice is founded on original sin. If we tell the Garden of Eden story as a step up into maturity, of taking responsibility then it makes sense to

This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time, but I never felt comfortable asking anyone about it. It seems like such an obvious thing, so obvious that I am perplexed as to why I don't

It doesn't make sense to me either. never did. Or even the 'explanations' I remember hearing, they didn't make sense either, I could never figure how they made sense to anybody, even those I've heard

It doesn't make sense to me either. never did. Or even the 'explanations' I remember hearing, they didn't make sense either, I could never figure how they made sense to anybody, even those I've heard try to explain it. But then it never made sense to me, either, why all humankind was supposedly be 'guilty' and punished for something Adam and Eve did...which seems to me you have to swallow first before there's even a starting point for why Jesus had to die for our sins....good grief, it doesn't even make sense my trying to say that it doesn't make sense to me!

 

Jenell

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Jenell's right; that the need for substitutionary sacrifice is founded on original sin. If we tell the Garden of Eden story as a step up into maturity, of taking responsibility then it makes sense to see Jesus as a model and that we are his Twins. He is showing us the way: that it is only through death of our old selves and resurrection of the new thing that Jesus has begun in us that we will be able to experience heaven in the here and now. It is only in this moment, the Apocalyptic now, when heaven might come to earth. To be best prepared we must let our old selves be crucified, shattered so that we can be present in this moment.

 

Perhaps all of us have those moments where everything we understood about the world stopped working. The shattered pieces lay on the floor. We are resurrected when we start a new thing. Jesus' death and resurrection point the way out of being the living dead.

 

The theologian John Haught says that to move from a mundane life to a higher experience of life we must pass though chaos. From the living dead through the death of an ordered world, experiencing the fear of chaos and loss of control in order to reach a higher level of experience through Jesus' eyes.

 

Dutch

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I think the problem is that some of us try to apply reason to this and reason isn't how religious belief works. This is written in what is considered to be divinely inspired and authoritative scriptures; therefore it is accepted.

 

I think this particular belief has its theological origin in the sacrificial goat (azazel) of Judaism.

 

George

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I find this an interesting topic. I used to get the message of Jesus dying for our sins pounded into my head more and more. As a former evangelical, it is liberating that the more I think about this, the more it doesn't make sense.

 

The thing is, it is used in a very manipulative way in evengelical christianity. We are bludgeoned with guilt and convinced we are 'sinners' and then told a very emotionally manipulative story about a sacrifice being made for us. It's easy for many to be sucked in by that. It did me s much damage. I mean, how can it do your self esteem any good to be told that are fundamentally worthless unless you accept this 'sacrifice'.

 

When I started to think about these things recently, it started to fall apart. If one takes the genesis narrative literally, you have to believe in a god who:

  • put temptation in the way;
  • penalised man for a choice he gave him the capaicty to make;
  • chose to banish man from the garden;
  • punished all mankind for something they didn't do; and
  • refused to 'forgive' unless this blood sacrifice was made.

 

That is, as I look at this view, God set up all the parameters, definitions of sin etc with foreknowledge and then requires the world to 'accept' this sacrifice. THis all damaged my heart so much and like others on this post it doesn't make sense.

 

Can our hearts really respond to that which our minds do not understand? I don't think so.....my experience of evangelical christianity is that they expect you to but it requires brainwashing.

 

I don't know alot but I hope I have made a contribution in a respectful way.

 

Warmest wishes all

 

Ronnie (UK)

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You contributed well Ronnie.

 

I think we reap what we sow. While it seems true to me that one man's life and death may have an impact on our life just as reading biographies about our heroes and those we admire has some impact on us and our future actions, God/Reality is not not mocked. We pass through the consequences of our actions in some way. With or without the death of a person, i believe we are and were forgiven before and after the man Jesus came on the scene..

 

Unconditional love created us with the potential and infinite possibilities we are experiencing. In my view, we are as designed/created and are evolving. In a sense, there is nothing for God to forgive. It seems to me if forgiveness is needed it is only from us for one another and ourselves.

 

Just one way to look at the question,

Joseph

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Jenell's right; that the need for substitutionary sacrifice is founded on original sin. If we tell the Garden of Eden story as a step up into maturity, of taking responsibility then it makes sense to see Jesus as a model and that we are his Twins. He is showing us the way: that it is only through death of our old selves and resurrection of the new thing that Jesus has begun in us that we will be able to experience heaven in the here and now. It is only in this moment, the Apocalyptic now, when heaven might come to earth. To be best prepared we must let our old selves be crucified, shattered so that we can be present in this moment.

 

Perhaps all of us have those moments where everything we understood about the world stopped working. The shattered pieces lay on the floor. We are resurrected when we start a new thing. Jesus' death and resurrection point the way out of being the living dead.

 

The theologian John Haught says that to move from a mundane life to a higher experience of life we must pass though chaos. From the living dead through the death of an ordered world, experiencing the fear of chaos and loss of control in order to reach a higher level of experience through Jesus' eyes.

 

Dutch

 

It's seems like you're saying that Jesus' death was more to set an example for us, the sinners, to die to our former selves? Not so much substitution, but example? This makes more sense to me, but I hadn't heard it before. It is always drummed into one's head "Jesus died for your sins".

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The thing is, it is used in a very manipulative way in evengelical christianity. We are bludgeoned with guilt and convinced we are 'sinners' and then told a very emotionally manipulative story about a sacrifice being made for us. It's easy for many to be sucked in by that. It did me s much damage. I mean, how can it do your self esteem any good to be told that are fundamentally worthless unless you accept this 'sacrifice'. Agreed.

 

When I started to think about these things recently, it started to fall apart. If one takes the genesis narrative literally, you have to believe in a god who:

  • put temptation in the way;
  • penalised man for a choice he gave him the capaicty to make;
  • chose to banish man from the garden;
  • punished all mankind for something they didn't do; and
  • refused to 'forgive' unless this blood sacrifice was made

But all this was pre-ordained, or "pre-known" by God, yes? He KNEW that man would make the choice he did, He knew that by placing temptation in the way that man would choose to eat the apple. (why did he place temptation there anyway? To demonstrate that we have free will, and our free will always chooses the "wrong" thing? He didn't give an option for a "good" choice, unless you consider NOT eating the apple to be a choice. It reminds me of a famous experiment with children where they were told NOT to eat a marshmallow placed in front of them, and they would be rewarded with MORE marshmallows in the future. None could stop themselves from eating the marshmallows NOW.) When you say God "refused to forgive unless a blood sacrifice was made", I don't really get this--wasn't it God's sacrifice? It was HIS Son, so He (God) was the one who would suffer upon his death. And he KNEW this would happen, because he is all-knowing, right?

So if one is to take the Genesis narrative NON-literally, what does it say to us? As a parent myself, I can't help but think of this in terms of my own children. Would I place a ice cream sundae in front of them and then leave the room, reminding them that the only thing they're NOT allowed to do is eat the sundae? I know what most kids would do :P I would know IN ADVANCE that my children would eat the sundae. And then...what? I punish them? I can't see myself doing that. But God did, no?

 

That is, as I look at this view, God set up all the parameters, definitions of sin etc with foreknowledge and then requires the world to 'accept' this sacrifice. THis all damaged my heart so much and like others on this post it doesn't make sense. Agreed. It seems a bit of a set-up, no? God is going to create this intricate path that we have to "believe" in, but all along he knew the outcome.


 

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Hi there!

 

I like the points you have made!

 

When I said 'God refused to forgive unless a blood sacrifice was made' - I think I was trying to get at the point that in evangelical christian doctrine, god required the sacrifice of jesus death before forgiveness could be given to those who 'accept' this sacrifice. Why could god not just choose to forgive? God could set any requirements he or she chose to. To be honest, as I write this it confuses me! I think it's because it's a set of ideas that was drummed into my mind and which indoctrinated me! It all views god as an supernatural deity in the sky who needed to be pacified in certain ways in order to 'forgive' the world. Forgive the world for actions he or she gave us the capacity to make and knew we would make, as you say.

 

I like your examples of marshmallows! Makes sense to me.

 

I think one of the controlling things in my experience of evangelical christianity was that using one's own mind or logic or intuition was 'evil' or 'sinful' - we were to block out feelings, rationality and any questions about the bible. Brainwashing really.

 

So it's really refreshing to be able to exchange ideas freely with others.

 

Thank you all!

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I think the problem is that some of us try to apply reason to this and reason isn't how religious belief works. This is written in what is considered to be divinely inspired and authoritative scriptures; therefore it is accepted.

 

I think this particular belief has its theological origin in the sacrificial goat (azazel) of Judaism.

 

George

 

Therein is the problem, I think.

first, reason re religious beliefs...that as has been interpreted, sych as in the bible "God's raeasoning is not Man's reasoning" and that Man cannot comprehend God's reasoning, means God is unreasonable from any perspective of Mans' reasoning, is imo, error. That leaves us in the position of having to accept and beleive things some may interpret from scripture that totally defies sound reasoning. I do believe about that, we (human, Man) cannot apply fully functional reasoning where we do not and may be unable to have access to and understanding of all the facts and information needed to be able to do so. Thus can i accept on faith beleif in something I can't proove by reason or can't be "proven true."

I also accept that in many things we may be unable to reason our way TO something, arrive at some some conclusion ourselves, something declared by inspiration to be true, again because we don't always have enough information.

However, I don't think God's reason is ever unreasonable, in the sense of being able to accept on faith as true something that ordinary material observation and sound reasoning prooves FALSE, to be not true.

 

Second, by what standard was or is any source, scripture, determined "authoritative" and therefore must be accepted as true to begin with? If it contains errors of fact and sound reason, then I have to reject it as having that authroity to begin with. And the bible does contain errors of fact and sound reason.

 

Dutch, as you describe your understanding, is pretty much exactly my own view and understanding. I think literal, material, concrete minded men that couldn't grasp the metaphorical meanings and understandings, as they translated anyhting about Jesus, His life, death, purpose, message, into literal, material, concrete forms that made sense to them.

 

As i read somewhere John Wesley stated, the miraculous, the evidence of the living working presence of the Holy Spirit, ceased early in the history of the church simply because the church was taken over by men that didn't beleive in it.

I also think, re George's observation about Judism's blood sacrifice rituals being that out of which the idea of atoneing sacrfice by Jesus arose, that the Israelites, in Judism, had done exactly the same thing with the metaphorical meanings within what Moses and the prophets tried to present.

 

Jenell

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It's seems like you're saying that Jesus' death was more to set an example for us, the sinners, to die to our former selves? Not so much substitution, but example? This makes more sense to me, but I hadn't heard it before. It is always drummed into one's head "Jesus died for your sins".

 

Actually, more like we're saying the story of Jesus' literal physical death may have been either an attempt to put a metaphorical 'death-ressurection' He, and we might experience, toward the transformation into a 'new breation, a 'new being, or even a later perversion, again, by literal material minded men that really couldn't understand it as that, and interpreted it into a literal material physical event of a bodily death/ressurection that may never have actually actually happened.

Just as many today beleive the myths of the gods of the Greeks were something those people then actually themselves believed as literally physically true, when those were actually even then mythic stories conveying metaphysical ideas and meanings, and not generally accepted as the actual adventures of real living godly beings with magical physical bodies.

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Halcyon

It's seems like you're saying that Jesus' death was more to set an example for us, the sinners, to die to our former selves? Not so much substitution, but example?

A most profound example. If Jesus is the Light of World then he showing us the way - not to himself because that was not his style -but the way to ourselves.

 

Dutch

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Christ is the way....the wording we are no familiar with now because of how translators made it into "Jesus Chrsit', as if His first name was Jesus and his last name or surname "Christ", is significantly different in meaning and implication from the original form, "Jesus, the Christ (annointed) One."

 

"Jesus", a man, was not "the Christ." Of/to whom/what does the author of this passage refer to that Moses and the people encountered, long before a baby boy child would be born in Bethlehem, to be named "Jesus?"

 

1 Cor ch 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was CHRIST.

 

Jenell

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To me, it seems a crucial flaw in the "fall" story....Adam ad Eve didn't know good and evil, right and wrong. That was the whole 'temptation' of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they ate it, they'd then know good and evil, right and wrong.

 

When they decided to eat it, took hold of it and brought to their mouths to bite it, they didn't yet know good and evil, right and wrong. So how could they have known it was a wrong thing to do? And if they didn't know it was wrong until after they did it, how should they be punished for choosing to do wrong, when they didn't know it was wrong to do before they did it? So we have a God that created them as He did, made them as they are, but didn't give them ability to choose right from wrong, then punish them with death for 'choosing wrong?' And punish every generation of their children forever for it, before they are even born or conceived or a twinkle in their parent's eye, to boot? And then have to pick out one of those future children to lay all the blame on so he could die as the scapegoat to save all those he decided to punish before they were even born? Pretty crazy mixed up sadistic schizoid god, if you ask me.

 

Jenell

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I feel that Jesus the man did not die for our sins. He died for his beliefs, having lived by his own standards in a time that such behaviour was not tolerated by authorities. Jesus Christ the supernatural divine being came sometime after, as part history/part myth, designed to tie in a number of differing world views at the time of writing. Along with that written history/myth came all the confusing stuff, which cannot be explained to anyones satisfaction without it simply being put to one side and parked as "God stuff we don't get".

 

It is far more an inspiring story when the real Jesus dies on the cross for his beliefs, having preached some remarkably un church like sermons throughout his short ministry. There is sacrifice when a real human gives his life for change. There is no sacrifice when a divine being performs a play, pretends to die, knowing he is divine and will live forever in any case.

 

I like Jesus, not so much Jesus Christ.

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I feel that Jesus the man did not die for our sins. He died for his beliefs, having lived by his own standards in a time that such behaviour was not tolerated by authorities. Jesus Christ the supernatural divine being came sometime after, as part history/part myth, designed to tie in a number of differing world views at the time of writing. Along with that written history/myth came all the confusing stuff, which cannot be explained to anyones satisfaction without it simply being put to one side and parked as "God stuff we don't get".

 

It is far more an inspiring story when the real Jesus dies on the cross for his beliefs, having preached some remarkably un church like sermons throughout his short ministry. There is sacrifice when a real human gives his life for change. There is no sacrifice when a divine being performs a play, pretends to die, knowing he is divine and will live forever in any case.

 

I like Jesus, not so much Jesus Christ.

 

 

I think if Jesus was really a man that lived and dies on a cross, whose story we at least have some glimpse of through NT writings, you may be right. While I embrace the metaphorical message of transformation, the new creature, new being, I also consider that on and of itself resulted in his having felt so strongly and purely about what He believed was right, so as to stand up for it against his peers and the practices and common attitudes of his day, as to die for it, may have been the outward manifestation of that in how he lived out his life, after it had taken place for him. Although the accounts tell little of his life before he walked onto the scene where John was baptizing that day, I think he must have been a seeker, moving toward that moment, in which He experienced a powerful initiation stage, an awakening, toward the serious work of transformation, into the new being, the new creature. From his baptism, he proceeded to go alone into the wilderness, we are told, for 40 days and nights...throughout many different cultures, there is recognized some powerful transforming moment or experience in the lives of the occasional person, followed by a retreat into solitude, from which they emerge dramatically changed, as people recognized as 'different', in ways of spirituality, wisdom, principle, courage, and often healing powers. From the mystics of many cultures and religious traditions, to the shamans and medicine men and women in the legends and tradtions of many primitive peoples, this is something that emerges with a stricking similarity between them. It has been noted, studied, written about, by even the most secular observers, and those within some branches of the field of psychology. Some of the most influential thinkers, artists, musicians, poets, and writers, not to mention those that articulated what would become the sacred stories and texts within religious tradtions of entire cultures, have experienced such a dramatic life changing event, and did their greatest work, often their only work of note that would survive as important long after their deaths, after that event.

 

Jenell

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I think if Jesus was really a man that lived and dies on a cross, whose story we at least have some glimpse of through NT writings, you may be right. While I embrace the metaphorical message of transformation, the new creature, new being, I also consider that on and of itself resulted in his having felt so strongly and purely about what He believed was right, so as to stand up for it against his peers and the practices and common attitudes of his day, as to die for it, may have been the outward manifestation of that in how he lived out his life, after it had taken place for him. Although the accounts tell little of his life before he walked onto the scene where John was baptizing that day, I think he must have been a seeker, moving toward that moment, in which He experienced a powerful initiation stage, an awakening, toward the serious work of transformation, into the new being, the new creature. From his baptism, he proceeded to go alone into the wilderness, we are told, for 40 days and nights...throughout many different cultures, there is recognized some powerful transforming moment or experience in the lives of the occasional person, followed by a retreat into solitude, from which they emerge dramatically changed, as people recognized as 'different', in ways of spirituality, wisdom, principle, courage, and often healing powers. From the mystics of many cultures and religious traditions, to the shamans and medicine men and women in the legends and tradtions of many primitive peoples, this is something that emerges with a stricking similarity between them. It has been noted, studied, written about, by even the most secular observers, and those within some branches of the field of psychology. Some of the most influential thinkers, artists, musicians, poets, and writers, not to mention those that articulated what would become the sacred stories and texts within religious tradtions of entire cultures, have experienced such a dramatic life changing event, and did their greatest work, often their only work of note that would survive as important long after their deaths, after that event.

 

Jenell

 

Very well expressed Jenell. Thanks for that.

 

:)

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Btw, lest anyone get the idea such people are some kind of "super special gifted advantaged" individuals it might be nice to be, many aspects of the very "counter-culture" orientation and psychologically introspective nature not much concerned with pursuit of material gains common to this phenomenon often tends to make them somewhat dysfunctional and less that successful in ordinary daily life and business. They can find it as difficult to understand and relate to the world, society, and people around them as much of those around them do in return. Thus they commonly end up in circumstances like wandering around without much a job or wealth or prestige, maybe as wandering minstrels, poets or preachers, even getting crucified by the mainstream and prevailing power holders. Of many, the 'value' of their ideas and work are not usually appreciated in their own times and place. :)

 

Jesus knew that: Matt 23: 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the PROPHETS, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the PROPHETS.

31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the PROPHETS.

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you PROPHETS, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the PROPHETS, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

 

 

Jenell

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"Jesus and God redeemed from this sad event the good that could be gotten. It would have been better iof everyone had responded by becoming like Jesus. But since everyone did not, God and Jesus creatively drew from the tragedy the best they could, working to prepare the way for God's continuing call to us all. So successful was this redemptive process that Christians have come to view the cross of Christ as God's greatest victory, and as the paradigm of how good can be redeemed from suffering."

Mesle in Process Theology: A Basic Introduction

 

A slight twist on what some of us have been saying.

 

Dutch

 

 

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People sometimes experience the cross in ways we may not think of in that way, of something positive and good coming out of something terrible, of a death from which one is ressurected in a glorified state.

 

People can be brought to suffer a painful, often humiliating and even shameful death of something of themselves, within themselves, through circumstances and events in life, sometimes resulting wholly or in part due to their own choices and actions and ways of thinking and being. That is what the "breaking" is that is so often mentioned in spiritual literature, that must come before we can be restored to something better, healthier, take us a bit further on the journey. When that happens, we don't 'just get over it' after something bad and terrible happens to us, we are transformed into something fuller, better, stronger, even an ugliness replaced with something beautiful.

 

Jenell

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The concept of Jesus dying for the sins of the world is indeed quite strange. It is as if God were offended by the sins of humankind and thereupon sent another manifestation of the diety to suffer even further insult to clear the original offense. This logic is seen in many religions whereby adherents hold to a theory that a sacrifice of their possessions or other people to appease the God or gods and "earn" good favor from them. This logic is quite puzzling to the modern mind where cause-and-effect is not related to sacrificial offerings. There is punishment for offenses of crimes, and sometimes upon the families of criminals, but this is not related to the atonement theory of religious sacrifice. Now there are those orthodox adherents who would say that the wisdom of God is higher than our logic and that human logic is flawed in this manner. This is reminiscent of Pope Urban VIII telling Galileo that there is such a thing as human understanding but this does not displace the wisdom of God. Therefore the earth still rotates around the sun, and not vice versa. The problem with appeals to the wisdom of God is that historically they are frequently in retreat. Further, what is the wisdom of God during one period is different from the wisdom of God in another period--do to human understandings (or misunderstandings) of it! Therefore the arguments tend to be both ignorant of cause-and-effect as well as characterizing a circular belief system in orthodox Christianity.

 

Now one might say that Jesus did die for our sins, however. His death highlights the life he lived, the price he paid for it, and the encouragement and vision for followers to follow his example. One might also say the same for Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the light,” and he may be. But there are also other incarnations close to spiritual connections. Religion is full of stories. The medium of belief and hope is realized through these stories. Sometimes the stories become outdated to future generations, but often something may also be gleaned from them. The challenge of Christianity is to make sense of the stories the best it can, but realize that we do no longer live in a world of gods being appeased by sacrifices and such. Hope this perspective helps.

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This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time, but I never felt comfortable asking anyone about it. It seems like such an obvious thing, so obvious that I am perplexed as to why I don't understand it.

 

It is said that Jesus died for our sins. That God sacrificed his only son for us, that he paid the ultimate price. The thing I don't get is....how does this work? How does the death of one release us from sin? The sins still happened. The consequences still resound. How does the son of God dying "pay" for this? What is "payment" in this context? Is it like an exchange? A barter? If it is, why would the death of God's son (which one could argue is not a good thing) pay for sins (again, not a good thing). It's like saying that crashing my new car will release me from mortgage payment on my house. I guess what's missing for me is the relationship, the thread, connecting Jesus' death with my sins.

 

I am probably making no sense. If so, then forgive me. If you have any clue as to what I'm trying to get out here, perhaps you have insight.

 

Hey :) I used to wonder the same thing when I used to be an atheist. Hopefully I explain myself well.

 

Ever since the fall of man, we are sin. That's our nature, to be sinful. Scripture says how we are born into iniquity. Well, God is a righteous judge. He is not going to let sin go unpunished. So what Jesus Christ did on the cross was He took that punishment. We should be the ones up on the cross facing God's wrath, but we aren't because Jesus did it for us. Jesus Christ died for us to save us because of how much He loves us, He did it so that we could one day live with Him in Heaven. So that we would be able to experience His Glory and be able to worship Him for eternity, and live with Him.

 

You'll see in the Old Testament how the Israelites would have to make a sacrifice as an atonement for their sins, it had to be a male animal that was perfect and without blemish. It didn't provide the gateway to Jehovah (the Father) like Christ's death did, but it did provide a temporary releivance(sp?) of sins so that the prophets could enter into the Holy of Holies without literally dying from God's Awesomeness & Glory. This is really foreshadowing Jesus Christ. Jesus is God, and is male, perfect, and without blemish. He is innocent and without sin, and took on the punishment that we deserved. His the gateway of the tabernacle, the door to Jehovah the Father.

 

WE deserve to be on that cross, but Jesus took the punishment instead. He is the only One who could, because He is perfect.

 

On that Cross, Jesus took ALL of God's wrath. He took the punishment for ALL of our sins, and felt all of our sins. All of the pain and suffering in the world, He felt it on the cross. The cross was not just a physical thing, but way beyond that.

 

What Jesus did is Awesome, it is amazing. I want to cry right not just thinking about. Not out of sadness but out of happiness and just out of absolute awe. That God loves us that much. Not because of us, but because of Him.

 

:)

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I'm often like this with my two sons. The oldest causes me a lot of grief as he is always getting into trouble. He should know better. I have given him rules to live by but if he doesn't follow the rule book then I simply have to disown him as my son. I understand it's not his fault that he was born into iniquity - I mean he didn't ask to be but because one of his ancestors ate an apple, well that's just bad luck for my son. Subsequently I have chosen to put him in a place where he will suffer and suffer for all of eternity. Not just a few years mind you, no that would be too kind, I want him to be miserable forever and a day.

 

But he has a choice.

 

I am going to make my younger son die on his behalf, with my younger son's consent of course. If my younger son is tortured painfully and then hung up on a cross to die, I will feel so much better. If my older son is prepared to accept that his younger brother suffered all of this pain on his behalf, then and only then, will I spare my older son from that eternal punishment. But his younger brother still has to suffer though, I couldn't possibly have it any other way.

 

Does that make sense to anyone for me to do that to my beloved children?

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"I have given him rules to live by but if he doesn't follow the rule book then I simply have to disown him as my son".

Christianity is not 'Do this, this, and this, or God will throw you into hellfire."

We naturally go to hell, it is our natural place to go because we're born sinful.

God saves us because He knows we are unable to save ourselves. We CANNOT work our way into Heaven, or earn it. It's not possible.

And once you're saved, you're saved. The Holy Spirit lives within you.

 

"I understand it's not his fault that he was born into iniquity - I mean he didn't ask to be but because one of his ancestors ate an apple, well that's just bad luck for my son"

If you have a child, you know he will disobey you and be rebellious. Should you still punish your kid when he acts up? Yes? But you KNEW he was going to act up at some point, and throw fits. So why punish him for something that you knew he was already going to do? Ask yourself that.

 

Or would you rather be an automonous robot without any freewill?

 

"Subsequently I have chosen to put him in a place where he will suffer and suffer for all of eternity."

no, sweety. Hell is naturally where we go, Hell is a place without God's presence.

Yahweh has not said, 'You disobey me and don't follow these rules, then I'm going to just throw you in this fire for eternity!"

Hell is where we naturally go if we aren't saved. Hell is a place without the presence of God.

If we're not saved by Christ then that is the only possible place for God TO put us.

God is love, God is peace, God is joy. If you're not with Him, what do you think the place you're going to is going to be like?

 

"If my younger son is tortured painfully and then hung up on a cross to die, I will feel so much better."

Jesus' sacrifice was necessary. It was terrible what He went through, words cannot fully describe it. But God died for us because of His great love for us. It shows how much He loves you, me, and everyone else.

 

"If my older son is prepared to accept that his younger brother suffered all of this pain on his behalf, then and only then, will I spare my older son from that eternal punishment"

Only through Jesus' sacrifice could we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. We are born sinful and cannot save ourselves.

 

Yahweh is a righteous judge, He isn't going to let sin go unpunished.

So either we suffer from our natural sinfulness in Hell, or we're forgiven through the blood of Jesus.

 

"But his younger brother still has to suffer though, I couldn't possibly have it any other way"

No other way is possible.

 

"Does that make sense to anyone for me to do that to my beloved children?"

Based off of YOUR explanation, no it does not.

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Firstly I find it very interesting that this place 'Hell' didn't even exist until the New Testament. Where was it before then?

 

How were pre-Jesus people 'saved' if Hell is an automatic destination?

 

(Deleted redundant quoted post from directly above.) JosephM (as Moderator)

Guapo,

 

Why is Hell the natural way? Where do you get that from? Why isn't it believed in the OT? Did it exist since the beginning of time? Why not cast Satan there at first sin rather than let this melodrama play out. Why would God let human life continue on and on if over two thirds of his creation are simply going to end up in Hell? Why not stop it now? Can't God do that?

 

On and on and on it goes. I would encourage you to stop quoting the bible and ask these questions of yourself. Just why would God want to treat you like that?

 

I would like to say that God wouldn't, and that theology is more acceptable to me, although currently I would have to say that I don't think I believe in God. Maybe that'll change, maybe it won't.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

PS. I don't really like being called 'sweety', but I'll let you be facetious this once because I know my thoughts probably ruffle your feathers.

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