We usually require that topic proposals provide some background or contextual information as well as taking a position, but this seems like it has the potential to generate some interesting discussion.
Was the life and times of Jesus, including his death and the betrayal by Judas all part of God's plan?
Anything born (with the possible exception of those things that propagate by cloning or splitting) will die.
Jesus, like the Buddha would have died one way or the other and as an agitator who spoke against the power structure and committed acts of violence against the dominate religion in the area death by an outside force was far more likely than from old age and bad meat.
I'm not one of those Christians that subscribes to the cheap "Jesus death paid for my sins" snake oil but I do subscribe to Jesus as a sacrifice.
I believe Jesus was sent to mankind as a teacher by example. Jesus, while here among use, was totally human. Not half God Half human; not God and Human, not God disguised as human, not God pretending to be human but rather just human.
Imagine what had once been God finding itself just human, subject to not even being able to focus its eyes, control its bowels, eat by itself; subject to hot and cold and teething pains and totally dependent on others, unable to communicate, doomed from the moment of birth to die.
So Jesus life, not Jesus death, was the great sacrifice.
But the sacrifice was never meant to pay for sins, rather Jesus life was meant to teach us how to be human and how to deal with personal sins and failures.
Jesus' death, horrific by the standards of today, was not all that unusual. In fact there were at least two others who were also crucified at the same time and on the same day in that small insignificant provincial settlement within the Roman Empire. It's likely there were hundreds of similar executions that day within the Roman Empire and for crimes as petty as stealing.
So my answer is "It's unlikely that Jesus life and death were scripted" but it really doesn't matter whether it even happened.
The lessons that the story of Jesus teaches are still valid even if it was all just stories told around the campfire. Love thy neighbor as you love yourself. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked (well, except some that really look better naked), shelter the homeless, educate the ignorant, comfort the sorrowful, protect the weak, stand fast in the face of adversity. He also showed that even little things, a fish fry or a party are important. Holding a door open for someone burdened, getting stuff down from a high shelf for someone, kneeling down so a child can look at you instead of you looking down on the child are all as important as raising the dead or giving sight to the blind. Do what you can do.
For us and for our salvation ...
Salvation is NOW.
Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
Interesting response. You seem to be saying that you accept the story that Jesus was god incarnate, but then you suggest later on that perhaps the story isn't even true.
And maybe you can explain what you mean 'for our salvation'. Why, if you don't believe the usual 'he died for our sins', is he our salvation? There have been many people in history who were good, compassionate, helpful people.
God initially never created an evil Satan. He created a free willed Lucifer whom became evil personified by willful (and apparently irreversible) choice. It would thus make sense for God to have a plan that would nullify this development...hence Jesus. Of course I cannot prove the exact development of the story with scripture...I am suggesting a potential script. Humanity freely chose to become independently aware and responsible versus obedient and puppet like. This is why we have these famous arguments here at EvC. Many of our atheist freethinkers choose to be free of control from a Deity...actualized or imagined, while many of our self proclaimed Christians desire to be under the control of a superior spirit..(father/mother issues?)
I'd forgotten that bit, about God creating Lucifer.
So, Phat, you think it was all pre-planned. In which case, there really is no reason to see the crucifixion of Jesus as anything but good, purposeful and right. All of it was planned, by God, for the good of mankind. Judas was just following the script, as were the Romans and the Jews. All the players were acting out the roles God wrote for them.
Do you not find that an odd story? Doesn't it sort of negate the whole thing? Why wouldn't an all powerful God simply make us good instead of going to all that trouble?
I'm not one of those Christians that subscribes to the cheap "Jesus death paid for my sins"
I believe that its not cheap. Jesus death paid for universal sin in general. To jars credit, I agree that humans still need to be responsible with the gift they have been given. We need to try and do our best on a daily basis...but we will fail...time and time again.
Thanks to Gods free gift, we need not fail as long as we dont "let go and let God"...one of the most misunderstood Christian cliches.
In essence, Jesus becomes our pilot (not co-pilot, as the bumper sticker suggests) and we are fully responsible for a lifetime of learning under His tutelage.
I see no reason to invoke a god where it comes to failure or success. I'm a non believer an yet I struggle to do my best every day. I see no reason to invoke a god in any aspect of life on Earth.
I suppose that if I were a non believer, the only reason I would have to invoke (or get to know) a "god" would be if I thought that He/She/It would do a better management job than I myself would or could do. Love would also play a large part in my decision...could this imagined Deity possibly give me something that I could not find among humanity?
Non believers don't have to invoke gods, Phat, that's the whole point. I seem to be doing OK in managing my life, and in any case, your god thinks you should struggle in order to build your character. I do that on my own with great ease.
Funny you should mention love, because that's actually what do I believe in. But again, there is no need to invoke gods to understand love or hate, for that matter.