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Jesus' sacrifice - what was the point?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by 839311, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. 839311

    839311 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the point of Jesus' sacrifice. It doesn't make any sense, for the following reasons.

    1) How can someone dying eliminate my responsibility for the errors Ive made in my life?

    2) Why do Christians say, 'Jesus died for you', when he was resurrected three days later, and some people think he was alive even for those three days. Thats not really dying. Its just being killed but then given a better body. Plus, since Jesus supposedly knew he was going to be resurrected and alive and well, being perhaps the second or third most powerful lifeform in the cosmos, that certainly takes away from the whole drama of dying. If someone told me, 'youll suffer for a few days and die. But then Ill give you a better body and you will be one of the most powerful beings in the cosmos for all eternity!', Id say that would be a pretty good deal. So, in other words, Im saying the whole sacrifice idea isnt much of a sacrifice at all when you think about it.

    3) If you really hold something against someone, why not just forgive them, instead of cutting yourself or having someone sacrificed? I dont see why torture has to come into the picture. Its rather sick, actually. Truth is, in modern society such a person may even be put in a straight jacket in an attempt to keep him from killing or harming himself.

    I see this as just another absurd claim of Christianity, something I comfortably dismiss as superstitious nonsense, along with the rest of the ridiculous claims of this religion.
     
  2. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

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    God sacrifices himself to himself in one place at one time to a few ancient people in order to create something that if believed in gives him a reason to not torture you forever since that is what he thinks you deserve for being the way he created you. Makes perfect sense.
     
    #2 jmvizanko, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
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  3. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    Not the point of Jesus's sacrifice.
    By all account, Jesus died. To be resurrected, one had to die, at least in this context. So yes, he died. Being killed, means that person being killed, died.

    As for much of the rest you said, it is later ideas. Jesus does not claim to be God. Jesus did not come back with a better body (at least not according to the Gospels). And many people thought they were going to be resurrected. Many people believe that they will have an afterlife. However, you hammer nails through this hands or wrists, it still is suffering, no matter what might come later. Just because one believes they will have an afterlife, doesn't mean they can't sacrifice themselves.
    Is not forgiving a huge part of Christian doctrine? Yes it is.
    And it is that mindset which simply does little to help anything. Instead or remaining open to new ideas, you have completely shut yourself off, and really, will just make matters worse. Especially when you hold the biases that you do.
     
  4. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    Except Jesus wasn't God. Neither did he claim so. The Gospels make it clear that he is the Son of God (and that doesn't even mean literally, as not all of the Gospels portray Jesus as such. Paul also doesn't portray Jesus as such). The Son of God had a different meaning during that time for many people. It was not necessarily a literal thing.

    Jesus is the only person who actually, from scripture, sacrificed himself (it was a personal choice, he sacrificed himself).

    The idea of being tortured forever also isn't very clear cut in the Bible. Paul states that the punishment for sin is death. Not hell, not torture, simply death.
     
  5. angellous_evangellous

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    He comes pretty dang close in Colossians 1 and Philippians 2. [IF he wrote Colossians, that is, and for the moment I'm inclined to think so...]
     
  6. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

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    What about John 14:7-10, John 10:30, John 14:11, John 10:37, and John 17:11? And even if he didn't claim to be god, do you at least believe that he was part of god's master salvation plan?

    Still part of the plan?

    So you believe in a much lesser punishment than most Christians, but still a punishment. Same dif.
     
  7. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    Only according to later people trying to make sense of what happened. And even in those verses, God and Jesus are not the same.
    Really doesn't matter in this context. I never said God didn't have a plan. I just said what you were saying wasn't correct.
    Not really. Dying, and being eternally tortured are very different things.
     
  8. angellous_evangellous

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    I would say "being destroyed so that one simply ceases to exist."
     
  9. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    I see Paul seeing Jesus as the adoptive son of God. Primarily because Paul states that Jesus, in Romans 1 states that Jesus was born according to the flesh. Then at some point (I would go with the resurrection) Jesus becomes the adoptive son of God.
     
  10. jmvizanko

    jmvizanko Uber Tool

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    Well nobody has really made any sense of what happened period, which is why there have been 30,000+ sects of Christianity. And its hard to see those verses as not suggesting at the very least an overlapping of the two. But then it doesn't really matter for the sake of the argument.....

    Yes it does in this context. If God's plan was to sacrifice Jesus, then your arbitrary and unconventional removal of Jesus from God doesn't really change my statement much.

    Its still a pretty large punishment for an arbitrary and ridiculous reason. Definitely scaled down, but that's not the point.
     
  11. angellous_evangellous

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    First, I don't disagree with this at all, but I don't think that it is exclusive of Paul having at least one important - or perhaps the most important theologies that point to the divinity of Christ.

    I mean, how else can we interpret Philippians 2, where Paul says that Jesus was equal with God, then poured this out in order to be born according to the flesh? And Philippians is an undisputed letter.

    Then there's Colossians 1, where Paul says that Jesus is essentially God?

    Colossians 1

    11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

    I just don't see how you can get around that... and Romans was written later, so we have to interpret it knowing that Paul had already written this. Now he could have changed his mind, but Romans is geared for an entirely different theological motive.
     
  12. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to imagine.

    Let's say you live in a culture that has reduced it's social standing to a strict adherence to religious standards, another culture has violently overtaken your land and you are looking for something to bring hope.

    While your culture is believing in a savior to drive out a foreign culture in an effort to reestablish a nationalist ideal a concept comes along that states that individuals from the other culture are the same as you. That, indeed, all people are the same and that a strict adherence to a set of religious laws is not what is important but a general view to treat all people as the same. To treat everyone as part of your own group and that rather than being a select group of individuals under a God defined by a strict cultural view a God that accepts the whole of humanity.

    Now imagine that this God that inserts itself in an avatar in physical form spends his time working to help people, accepting all people and allowing itself to be tortured and murdered rather than engaging in violence which was pretty much the norm among all cultures at that point.

    The point being that in an age in which religions of many cultures were very ethnocentric the concept that there was a God that accepted all peoples and was willing to assume the form of its creation and suffer as much as the people was a pretty damn radical concept.

    And to make clear, I'm an atheist.

    But I must admit that the concept that a divine, undying, omniscient being would "sacrifice" itself is rather hard to accept on any level.
     
  13. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    It's supposed to appeal to people emotionally. Any kind of sense anyone interprets from it is incidental and extraneous. If people are looking for narratives that make logical sense, they're probably reading books other than the bible.
     
  14. angellous_evangellous

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    That happens sometimes, but we can make sense of the text in the sense that we can attempt to understand what it says. Now what it means is anyone's game.
     
  15. rockstarwife628

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    I personally don't believe in the Sacrificial Atonement either. Kind of scandalous for a Christian to say, I know, but I don't believe it was necessary (especially since I don't believe there is a literal hell to be "saved" from). I think his death just reflected his willingness to see his message through even to the ultimate end. That doesn't in anyway devalue or undermine Jesus or his message, IMO - in fact, I think it shows just how meaningful that message was - it was one he was willing to die for, one of deep importance. His teachings of love and compassion (not to mention the political side of his message, and the idea of the kingdom of God) were and still are significant even without the idea of the sacrifice/Atonement. At least, IMO...
     
  16. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    It does though. Because then it isn't God sacrificing himself to himself. So if Jesus is not God, then God is not sacrificing himself. More so, Jesus had a choice. He did not have to go along with any plan. So it isn't even God sacrificing someone. It was Jesus sacrificing himself.
    It isn't a punishment. Looking back, I misquoted Paul. He stated that the wages of sin are death. He also states that everyone has sinned. So, everyone dies.

    Some may be awarded later, but that doesn't mean everyone else is punished. They die. That is life. It isn't a punishment, it is a fact.
     
  17. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    I will have to look more into that. I haven't done too much study on Paul, and what I have has been mostly in Galatians and Romans.
     
  18. angellous_evangellous

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    Ah, that explains it. My holy Trinity of Paul is 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans. But the Pauline corpus is much bigger than that.
     
  19. earlwooters

    earlwooters Active Member

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    “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It is obvious from this statement, that Jesus had expected some other outcome, different from the one that occured. Jesus does not say "have you abandoned me", he says "why have you abandoned me". He knew that God had abandoned him. This statement occurs in Mark, which is recognized as the first Gospel written down. His followers at the time didn't know what to make of his life and death. Paul, a man who had never met Jesus, and a "self proclaimed apostle", who had many differences with the real apostles, hijacked the teachings of Jesus and used them to create his own version of Christianity. As Thomas Jefferson said "Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus." The only sacrifice Jesus made was to die before his work was finished. We know what Jesus taught, pretty much, but Christians rarely abide by the teachings of the one they claim to follow.

    1.Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: hath been said,
    2. Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
    But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
    3.But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    4. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
    5. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
    6. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
    7. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    8. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    9. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:


    These are some of the sayings of Jesus. Christians ignore most of them.
     
  20. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    The point of it is to fool people who don't know any better into believing Jesus was the fulfillment of all sorts of prophecies, most of which have nothing to do with each other, if they're prophecies to begin with.

    Smoke and mirrors.

    It's all for the sake of convenience.

    Need Jesus to be the passover lamb? Kill him on passover.
    Need to wipe away original sin (a concept that doesn't exist in Judaism... it had to be invented by Christians to give people a reason why they need to be "saved")... kill him.
    Need him to be the suffering servant who was pierced? (Which is absolute nonsense, for reasons elaborated on in the "Prophecies fulfilled by Jesus?" thread) Crucify him, and write the narrative to reflect the words of the prophets as closely as possible.

    It's meant to impress people who don't know any better so that they are led to believe Jesus was all kinds of wonderful and that he's the key to your eternal bliss after you're dead.
     
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