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Author Topic:   Sacrifice
Member (Idle past 177 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006

Message 1 of 2 (492779)
01-02-2009 7:08 PM

A key part of the Christian story is the idea of sacrifice. The death of Jesus, the sacrifice of God's very own son, such that mans sins could be forgiven by God.
Apparently if we recognise this sacrifice and seek forgiveness for our inherently sinful nature then we will be rewarded with salvation and avoid eternal damnation.
Such is my understanding from conversing with born again Christians here and elsewhere.
Is my understanding essentially correct?
Assuming that I have got at least the basic gist of this right I have a few questions:
1) What exactly was sacrificed? - Sacrifice normally implies loss or denial of some sort. I am not clear as to what exactly it is that was sacrificed or lost by God as a result of the physical death of his son? If I were to physically sacrifice my son, for example, the gaping void in my life caused by his absence and the knowledge that I would never again be with him would indeed probably be more painful than I can imagine. That would indeed be a sacrifice on my part. However in the case of Jesus a place at God's side in heaven was presumably guaranteed. Surely death in this instance was more of a homecoming than a loss of any sort at all?
2) Is the death of Jesus a big deal? - Apart from the pain caused by death to those left behind (as discussed above) the other key regret and cause of sadness with respect to an untimely human death is lost opportunity. The things that the person in question never became or experienced or achieved. The things in life that they missed out on. Again does any of this really apply to Jesus? As an omniscient omnipotent being is there anything that an untimely physical death can be said to have denied him in terms of experience or potential achievement?
3) Is pain the key? - Is it the pain suffered by Jesus that is the key to this "sacrifice"? I am sure that crucifixion is pretty unpleasant but I am also sure that we could find fellow human beings around the world suffering worse physical and emotional pain on any given day we choose to look. Brutal, degrading and debilitating sexual attacks, the removal of limbs, burning flesh, slow cancerous infestation, the removal of eyes, tongues or genitals...... Need I go on....... And none of this takes into account the psychological pain suffered as a result of knowing that should you live the body you inhabit will be horrifically mutilated. Jesus had no psychological pain regarding the future. He knew that he would die and then be resurrected. So is the pain of Jesus the ultimate sacrifice if the pain experienced by Jesus is not the ultimate in human physical or psychological pain?
4) Why sacrifice? - Why was any of this sacrifice stuff even necessary? If God wants to give man an opportunity for salvation, the opportunity to repent for his 'original sin', then surely he can just do this without any need for the whole sacrifice thing. Why the convulted and unnecessarily brutal path to redemption? If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
So I am basically suggesting that the crucifixion of Christ was not a sacrifice of any particular substance and that if there was a sacrifice of any sort it was all very unnecessary anyway.

Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003

Message 2 of 2 (492782)
01-02-2009 7:28 PM

Thread copied to the Sacrifice thread in the Faith and Belief forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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