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Author Topic:   Why did Jesus die?
JustinC
Member (Idle past 4083 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 1 of 32 (89231)
02-28-2004 8:03 AM


It's that time of the year again..actually, it's that time of this year when Gibson's Passion comes out. Due to the news media's obsession with this film, I've been "forced" to watch countless debates on this subject between various people. The line of the month is, "No one person killed Jesus, we all killed Jesus". Of course, this is never defended and is merely accepted as a matter of fact on these programs.

So I'm going to put forth a straight forward question that has never been answered to my satisfaction by any Christian before: What is the correlation between the man being portrayed in Gibson's film being brutally and unmercilessly tortured to death and someone's sins? If anyone is willing to take up this question, I would advise them to define sin because this is usually a point of contention in these discussions.

To put it in a more personal way, my little brother is being raised in a Christian household. How can anybody say to him with a straight face that he is responsible for the torture and murder of Jesus because he dishonored his parents by talking back to them?


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Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 32 (89233)
02-28-2004 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
02-28-2004 8:03 AM


God killed Jesus
God killed Jesus.
Since God decided not to just forgive his foolish creation (after making them foolish and fallible) and chose instead to opt for this macabre scenario, then it follows that God is the one, no?

IF God is like that...
not bloody likely.


This message is a reply to:
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Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 32 (89258)
02-28-2004 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
02-28-2004 8:03 AM


Who killed Jesus and why?
May I, a former fundamentalist christian respond by recommending a book titled "Who killed Jesus" by John Dominic Crossan, a Jesus Seminar scholar. The short answer to who killed Jesus according to Crossan is that the Romans in collaboration with the Jewish high priest did. The Bible asserts that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate wanted to let Jesus off with just a beating because he supposedly found nothing wrong with Jesus, but that the Jewish religious leader Ciaphas and eventually a "crowd" of Jewish people wanted Jesus put to death for claiming to be the Messiah or the son of God. Unfortunately for those who would take the Bible at it's word without consulting other more historical sources, Pontius Pilate probably never felt pity for Jesus, nor did he ever think of letting Jesus go. I can satisfactorally conclude this because of a quasi-historian named Josephus who described in his writings how good ol'e Pilate was a tyrant who had no problem with massacering hundreds of Jews at the slightest sign of trouble. This makes it problematic that Pilate ever made a "Jesus or Barabas" deal with any crowd of angry Jews and that there even existed such a crowd. Pilate would not have allowed such a demonstration to exist when his prime mission was to keep the peace during the one time of year when hundreds of thousands of Jews descended on Jerusalem for the Passover celebration.
The first century history of Jerusalem as a Roman province also reveals that several person's claims to be the messiah were either ignore'd by the religious leadership, or the Romans destroyed such people and their followers with extreme prejudice. These facts were also recorded in Josephus' writings, and also make it very problematic that the Jewish religious leaders defined a blasphemer as one claiming to be the son of God or the messiah, and therefore worthy of death. The main point here is that it was against Roman law for somebody to set themselves up as a king or leader in any Roman province without the approval of the emporer, but that is exactly what the people tried to do upon Jesus 'triumphal entry' into Jerusalem on a colt with palm-fronds waving. Therefor, in my judgement, "No one person killed Jesus, we all killed Jesus" is really just a statement of faith with absolutely no basis in historical fact.
Sin? According to the christian faith, sin is defined as anything contrary to what God wills for us humans, and so according to the Mosaic Law sin is the breaking of any of those laws; all the 'Thou shat nots...', etc., and christians in general(I believe) follow Mosaic Law to one degree or another. Now according to Paul the Apostle, in one of his letters he wrote that 'For the wages(payment) for sin is death'.... Paul used to be a Jewish Pharisee, and the Jewish religion used to teach that in order for sin to be forgiven by God, a blood sacrifice had to be made in the presence of the priests. I'll be back. I'm back. The earliest christians were originally Jewish. From these facts we can easily see how Paul and other Jewish christians came up with the brilliant idea that only a human sacrificial death, as opposed to an animal sacrifice would ever really satisfy God. Why? Because it was humanity who broke God's law, not animals. Therefore, as the story goes, Jesus became the sacrifice for sin that God would be satisfied with in order to forgive us humans. But Jesus is said to have 'risen from the dead' so that believers in him would no longer have to suffer 'spiritual death'=separation from God=hell. That's the theology, and the rst is history.
I'm sorry about your little brother, and I hope that what I've written may help.

[This message has been edited by Prozacman, 02-28-2004]

[This message has been edited by Prozacman, 02-28-2004]


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godsmac
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 32 (89357)
02-29-2004 1:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
02-28-2004 8:03 AM


JustinCy writes:

What is the correlation between the man being portrayed in Gibson's film being brutally and unmercilessly tortured to death and someone's sins?

What was it Lincoln said about the deaths of those killed on the field at Gettysburg? He said they "gave the last full measure of devotion." In other words, they sacrificed themselves for country and kin.

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son..." That is devotion to His creation. In the ancient Hebrew culture, sacrificing livestock, which was a valuable commodity in a pastoral society, was considered a way to atone for sin, and reconcile with God. One of Jesus' many names is "the Lamb of God" because he became the sacrificial lamb which atoned for the sins of mankind. He sacrificed himself to so that we could have things patched back up with God. No one is directly responsible for his death, because he sacrificed himself. (But you can say every one who sins is indirectly responsible, because without sin, there wouldn't have been a reason to reconcile us with God. An arguable point.)

Sin is when we estrange ourselves from God. We turn away from Him. It is a natural result of being free-willed that we sin. We happen to be selfish creatures who act in our own interests more than we do for others' sakes. It's a constant struggle to try to think of others before we think of ourselves. But it is through our positive interactions with one another that we come closest to God. God came close to us by sending us His son, in the flesh, to be with us and teach us how to love one another. But to show his ultimate love for us, He sacrificed His own son to reconcile us with Him. He didn't say we had to pay for our sins--instead He paid for us. He couldn't just sacrifice an animal--He couldn't just sacrifice a human being--He had to actually appear to us Himself as a man so that He could pay the ultimate price for us. And what could be more painful, and therefore more full of sacrifice, than dying at the hands of the ones He loves--betrayed by the very ones He came to save? The last full measure of devotion.

I'm sorry if Christians have misled and misrepresented what God's sacrifice is all about. I may be as guilty as anyone else, I don't always communicate well, and that's probably due to the fact that I don't think hard enough before attempting to. I hope I did okay here and got the point across that I was aiming to. But communication is a two-way street. You still have your half of the communication yet to do--that is, interpret my meaning from what I said...

Peace


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JustinC
Member (Idle past 4083 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 5 of 32 (89392)
02-29-2004 9:24 AM


Thanks for the replies.

I've heard all of this before, and I find it very unsatisfactory as a logical reason why Jesus died, but it is an historical persepctive as to why people thought he had to die.

It comes down to animal sacrifice. Again, I must ask my question in another form: What is the correlation between killing another living being and one's personal sins? In what kind of world would I be atoned for murdering my brother by going outside and murdering a couple cows? Or another human being, as in Jesus?

If somebody wrongs me in any way, it seems I can do one of two things: 1. Forgive them, or 2. Don't forgive them. I'm not going to tell them to go unmercilessly torture and destroy another living being in order for my forgiveness to be bestowed upon them.

So, if I may borrow from my chemistry background, the reaction would be: (sin) + (destruction of a living being)= (atonement). But what is the mechanism by which this correlation is brought about?


Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Amlodhi, posted 02-29-2004 11:38 AM JustinC has replied
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Amlodhi
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 32 (89401)
02-29-2004 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by JustinC
02-29-2004 9:24 AM


quote:
Originally posted by JustinCy

It comes down to animal sacrifice. Again, I must ask my question in another form: What is the correlation between killing another living being and one's personal sins?


Jesus was most likely executed for insurgency against Rome. The concept of Jesus as a "once and for all" vicarious sacrifice for humanity was soley the invention of Paul who was influenced by his Hellenistic demographics.

The "Christians" in Jerusalem (including the original disciples) continued to adhere to Mosaic Law which included animal sacrifices for the remission of sins. Hence, they (the disciples) could not have believed Jesus' crucifixion was a vicarious sacrifice.

Namaste'

Amlodhi


This message is a reply to:
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Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 32 (89423)
02-29-2004 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by JustinC
02-29-2004 9:24 AM


Please correct me if I misunderstand what you are asking. As I see it, according to judeo-christian theology, which I personally no longer hold to, the destruction of a living being IS the mechanism that God uses (or used) in order to atone for sins. But perhaps you are asking what it is exactly that makes an animal or human sacrifice acceptable to God as a mechanism for atonement for sin. According to my previous belief it was my own faith in the sacrifice(of Jesus) that was the mechanism. It's very simple, if I understand you correctly; An animal/human becomes a substitute for one in order to die in ones place to pay for sin. The priests would say to poor old Blooperpoofereck(some ancient sucker):"You have commited a crime against 'Cromm' and therefore you must die a miserable, painful, hideous death in frightful torture! However, if you sacrifice ten cows, four lambs, seven lobster, and your niece's newborn kitty-cat on this-here slab of burning stone while we high-and-mighty priests dance around screamin' with banjo's playin', and eat the sacrifice, then Cromm will forgive you and welcome you into his jolly presence."

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JustinC
Member (Idle past 4083 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 8 of 32 (89427)
02-29-2004 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Prozacman
02-29-2004 3:13 PM


quote:
Please correct me if I misunderstand what you are asking. As I see it, according to judeo-christian theology, which I personally no longer hold to, the destruction of a living being IS the mechanism that God uses (or used) in order to atone for sins.


Very bad idea on my part to introduce the mechanism/reaction analogy, it's kind of a vague concept outside of chemistry (and probably in chemistry). I probably confused you and I know your response is confusing me.
quote:

But perhaps you are asking what it is exactly that makes an animal or human sacrifice acceptable to God as a mechanism for atonement for sin. According to my previous belief it was my own faith in the sacrifice(of Jesus) that was the mechanism.


This is what I am getting at. Maybe you can explain that last sentence without using the word mechanism, since I introduced it without thinking of the confusion it might cause.

Are you telling me that God only forgives sins if the destruction of life occurs? If so, is this just an arbitrary price or is there some reason for it. Based on what you just said, it seems the story of Jesus is:

The Father needs to have a sinner destroy a life in order to forgive the sinner. Different lives have different values with regard to how much sin they atone for. Before Jesus, sins were paid for by the blood of animals. God wanted a sacrifice that would end all these animal sacrifices and atone for all the sins of humanity. So he sent The Son to earth in order to be tortured and destroyed so the He would be able to forgive all of humanity.

Is that about correct?

Also, did Jesus have to be tortured or could he of just been killed painlessly in order for God to forgive humanity? And, if we are going by the animal sacrifice analogy, why didn't the sinners have to kill Jesus for atonement? For instance, could anybody sacrifice an animal and atone for my sins back in the day, or did I have to do it myself?


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JustinC
Member (Idle past 4083 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 9 of 32 (89428)
02-29-2004 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Prozacman
02-29-2004 3:13 PM


double

[This message has been edited by JustinCy, 02-29-2004]


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JustinC
Member (Idle past 4083 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 10 of 32 (89429)
02-29-2004 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Amlodhi
02-29-2004 11:38 AM


quote:
Jesus was most likely executed for insurgency against Rome. The concept of Jesus as a "once and for all" vicarious sacrifice for humanity was soley the invention of Paul who was influenced by his Hellenistic demographics.

The "Christians" in Jerusalem (including the original disciples) continued to adhere to Mosaic Law which included animal sacrifices for the remission of sins. Hence, they (the disciples) could not have believed Jesus' crucifixion was a vicarious sacrifice.



I agree with this completely. But I'm just trying to get to the bottom of the "Jesus died for all of us" stance.

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Wertbag
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 32 (89484)
02-29-2004 11:14 PM


Seems that God is quite keen on blood and carnage. Global flood kills millions, wars with his support, fire and brimstone kills hundreds at Sodom, plague and disease against those that annoy him etc. I guess he wanted to torture and kill something even cleaner than all the innocents he'd already murdered, so created a perfect being who he knew in advance was going to be brutally murdered with no real justification. Have you seen the movie Passion of Christ? Its one of the most horrific deaths I've ever seen, and with the power that God and Christ are meant to have either of them could have stopped it but didn't.
I really don't think "Lord why have you forsaken me?" is the cry of someone who understands their fate.

  
Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 32 (89622)
03-01-2004 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by JustinC
02-29-2004 3:47 PM


Good! That is what you are getting at. The mecha... I'll use a less confusing phrase; How about the means by which God forgives sin, OR what God requires of us humans to forgive our sins. I was taught that the means or the requirement by God to be forgiven was faith in the death of Jesus(and his resurrection by the way). Faith in what Jesus did in sacrificing his life in the place of ours was the way a person was forgiven by God. I hope that explains it a little better.
Yes, God, in the Jewish Bible (I prefer not to use the term 'Old Testament' since I believe it is insulting to Jews)forgave sins if the destruction of a life occured. The details about how God required this are in the books' Deuteronomy and Leviticus. I'm not sure I know the reason(s) God(the priests) did it that way; I haven't studies those books in quite a while. However, I do understand the reason. I'll be back. Sorry'bout that, the Librarian said my time was up.

[This message has been edited by Prozacman, 03-03-2004]


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Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 32 (90090)
03-03-2004 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by JustinC
02-29-2004 3:51 PM


The "Jesus died for us all" stance, is in the New Testament where Paul says in so many words that "...christ died for sins once for all...". Many christians, I think take this to mean that Jesus died for the sins of ALL mankind. Of course the theology goes that scince Jesus was God the Son(and that idea wasn't finalized in the churches until the 4th century Nicean Council), then Jesus, being God could substitute his life in place of all humankind to pay for sins. I believe this stance was made church doctrine when the majority of Bishops at the Nicene Council agreed that Jesus was consubstantial(equal in substance) with God the Father. Otherwise Jesus would have been les than God and therefor unable to make a vicarious sacrifice. Remember, all of this doctrine was't "set in stone" until about 350 years after Paul and Jesus lived.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 15959
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 14 of 32 (92332)
03-14-2004 1:38 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Prozacman
03-03-2004 4:02 PM


The Nicene creed revisited
The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


I realize that there are some critics of the early church and the council at Nicea. I fail to see what real proof any of the antichrist scholars ever have really produced. Jesus Christ is more than a mere hybrid story from some ancient Pagan myth. Clearly, the very fact that so many lives have been changed because of Him speaks far more to me than a host of intellectual scholars who debunk Biblical accuracy and attempt to rewrite History without the Messiah. Its all good, because these naysayers will someday bow at the feet of the God they have rejected. Jesus died so that we may live. God is not mean.
Anyone who says so has no authority to make such a comment, because humanity has caused all of the evil ever done. God, after all, does not cause earthquakes and hurricanes, DOES HE, scientists?

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Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 32 (92413)
03-14-2004 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Phat
03-14-2004 1:38 AM


Re: The Nicene creed revisited
Scientists prefer not to have any say in wether or not God causes earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, because #1. scientists aren't into proving or disproving the existence and/or influence of God in the physical world and, #2. Scientists have found and are finding perfectly natural reasons/causes for earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. People used to believe in storm-gods in ancient history, and two of them happened to be Baal and Yahweh of the Canaanite pantheon of gods. For a long time now the physical sciences have gotten along well without them.
Are you defining earthquakes etc. as evil events caused by humans??
God is not necessarily mean, but your view of God is mean if you keep insisting that us "naysayers" are going to stand before God in judgement. Hmmm... Didn't Jesus say not to judge?
Of course christianity changes lives! Anybody can follow Jesus and it may help them quit a whole bunch of self-destructive things and possibly become an unselfish and giving person. But any religion can do that if a person follows it honestly and doesn't condemn others for their own beliefs.
Before I experienced the braintwisting wretchedness of fundamentalism I was Methodist, and I used to say the Nicene Creed every Sunday. Fine, but the apostles didn't have that creed, and the various groups that called themselves "christian" didn't either up until the time of the Nicene Council. One cannot deny the historical fact that there were many very large christian groups, such as the Arians, who saw Jesus as their messiah but refused the Nicene Creed.

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