Crucifixion/Obedience of Christ


#1

I find it difficult to come to grips with God The Father needing the bloody execution per se of His Son in order to redeem and reconcile us with Himself.
Rather I can see it as Jesus, truly man and truly God, living in complete obedience to His Father in a relationship of Love which expressed itself in love for us (“how can you say you love God, whom you cannot see, if you do not love your neighbour, whom you can see?”). Jesus maintains this complete loving obedience which is to follow his call to proclaim Truth, though finally it gets him condemned and executed by crucifixion. Thus we are reconciled to God finally by The Blood of Jesus and through his committment to his love of God and also of us.
Adam and Eve our first parents disobey God. Jesus (the new Adam) lives completely obedient to God therefore correcting the sin of our first parents.
Is the atonement of Jesus His Blood per se, or his complete obedience atoning for the disobedience of our first parents and this obedience asking finally the ultimate human sacrifice of his life and in a cruel manner and thus atonement is in, by and through His Blood? I do not mean at all to say that The Blood of The Lord is incidental, rather quite intrinsic. The shedding of His blood is physical, but there is a spiritual aspect, which I see as Loving Obedience. There can be no physical without the spiritual and no spiritual without the physical in humanity in which Jesus shares.
I have no desire whatsoever to be heretical, but I am curious on this point, because I struggle with it.
:o


#2

After my father died in 2002, my mother told me stories about my Dad’s Catholic faith. It was this exact issue that caused him to lose his faith, which was very important to him. He felt sick about it, because as an earthly father it made no sense to him that any loving father could do that to his son. He didn’t say that it wasn’t true, only that the thing was so wrong to him that it just didn’t sound like the stuff love is made of. It didn’t make sense that God freely decided to follow a plan that involved His Son getting treated like that: that is, unless God was somehow painted into a corner and had no alternative way to save us, which doesn’t speak well to His omniscience.

Dad continued to go to church out of obedience and a duty he felt not to mislead us children and/or cause scandal, but did so with the continuous uneasiness that he felt like a hypocrite. They didn’t tell me about all this when dad was alive but just grinned and bore it.

My Dad was a terrific man, and from all appearances a model Catholic. I wish he’d have discussed this with me while he was alive; maybe he could have helped me with my own faith struggles.

Alan


#3

[quote=brabble]I find it difficult to come to grips with God The Father needing the bloody execution per se of His Son in order to redeem and reconcile us with Himself.
Rather I can see it as Jesus, truly man and truly God, living in complete obedience to His Father in a relationship of Love which expressed itself in love for us (“how can you say you love God, whom you cannot see, if you do not love your neighbour, whom you can see?”). Jesus maintains this complete loving obedience which is to follow his call to proclaim Truth, though finally it gets him condemned and executed by crucifixion. Thus we are reconciled to God finally by The Blood of Jesus and through his committment to his love of God and also of us.
Adam and Eve our first parents disobey God. Jesus (the new Adam) lives completely obedient to God therefore correcting the sin of our first parents.
Is the atonement of Jesus His Blood per se, or his complete obedience atoning for the disobedience of our first parents and this obedience asking finally the ultimate human sacrifice of his life and in a cruel manner and thus atonement is in, by and through His Blood? I do not mean at all to say that The Blood of The Lord is incidental, rather quite intrinsic. The shedding of His blood is physical, but there is a spiritual aspect, which I see as Loving Obedience. There can be no physical without the spiritual and no spiritual without the physical in humanity in which Jesus shares.
I have no desire whatsoever to be heretical, but I am curious on this point, because I struggle with it.
:o
[/quote]

It is often said by spiritual writers and saints that God could have redeemend the world with one slight suffering, since one small suffering of God-made-man would be infinite, whereas a sin of man was finite.

Jesus suffered as much as He did, not because it was necessary to suffer that much to redeem man, but to show us how much He loves us, and to give us the courage to suffer for Him. This life is difficult and we must be willing to embrace our difficulties if we are to be saved. Jesus went before us and suffered untold agonies to help us have the courage to bear our small sufferings. If we meditate on what Jesus was willing to do for us, it will help us to love Him more and thus be willing to endure more for love of Him.

We have to remember that God the Father and Jesus are not separate - they are one and the same God. God - the second Person of the Trinity - willingly came to earth and suffered what He did for us. It is true that Jesus has a human nature and human will as we do, but He was firstly God and as God He willingly endured what He did for us.

Jesus chose to shed His blood for our redemption; he did not have to. He could have redeemed us by shedding a single tear. If He would have chosen to redeem us by shedding a tear, we would have been redeemed by His tear, rather than by His Blood. Since He did choose to shed His Blood for us, and to redeem us by that act, we have been redeemed by His blood. We need to look at it as what He was willing to do for us, not what He had to do in order to redeem us.

Suffering is the most difficult thing for human nature to endure. God wanted to proved His love for us by coming to earth and suffering for us. His suffering for us was to show us how much He loves us, it was not something that he had to do to accomplish our redemption.


#4

Dear Alan from Witchita - The nun who taught me told us that a thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.
What I struggle with is the emphasis in the crucifixion it seems to me anyway on the physical sufferings of Christ - there were positive spiritual aspects coming into play that carried Jesus through his crucifixion. He was lovingly obedient to His Father . . . in that Jesus is fully human and as subject to cause and effect as we are. The life and teachings of Jesus become the cause and the effect is he is condemned to death by crucifixion. God does not interfere (other than miraculously) with cause and effect which is the natural order of things, nor with man’s free will. Jesus cannot alter because he is fully human the fact that he is condemned to death - and God does not intervene either hence Jesus remains lovingly obedient to His Father who does not intervene. The Father allows cause and effect and man’s free will (condemnation of Jesus) to follow its natural flow in the life of Jesus. Jesus is motivated by His Love of God and also His Love of us - he remains obedient to them though it is going to cost him terribly in fact the ultimate price a human being can pay for anything at all.
I do not think God willed the crucifixion - rather God permitted it to happen by not intervening as of course he could have done.

P.S. I hope there is a qualified theologian or apologist out there if we are waffling off the correct teaching of The Church.


#5

Dear RSiscoe - Thank you for your reply. I have chosen to answer it picking up on some points:

It is often said by spiritual writers and saints that God could have redeemend the world with one slight suffering, since one small suffering of God-made-man would be infinite, whereas a sin of man was finite. I agree with this.

Jesus suffered as much as He did, not because it was necessary to suffer that much to redeem man, but to show us how much He loves us, and to give us the courage to suffer for Him. This life is difficult and we must be willing to embrace our difficulties if we are to be saved. Jesus went before us and suffered untold agonies to help us have the courage to bear our small sufferings. If we meditate on what Jesus was willing to do for us, it will help us to love Him more and thus be willing to endure more for love of Him.
I agree with this in part too. Further, we have the cross as our emblem as it were and I believe that it is part of our Bapitsmal vocation or call to complete the Passion of The Lord as St. Paul says “we make up in our own bodies what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ” and we do this by lovingly enduring any sufferings small or great which come into our lives by uniting them to the Sufferings of Christ. I agree too that meditation on The Passion has immense spiritual value - my point is there was not only the negative physical aspects of the crucifixion, but those positive aspects, virtues, that motivated Jesus to endure The Passion. Hence a meditation on the events and crucifixion of Jesus also asks we meditate on those qualities that prompted him to endure it. It does seem to me that often the physical sufferings of Jesus are given emphasis in a meditation on the cross so much so that his motivations if considered at all seem to have second place almost.
We have to remember that God the Father and Jesus are not separate - they are one and the same God. God - the second Person of the Trinity - willingly came to earth and suffered what He did for us. It is true that Jesus has a human nature and human will as we do, but He was firstly God and as God He willingly endured what He did for us. Yes! Jesus is fully and totally human and yet fully and totally God. He is the Second Person of The Blessed Trinity. One God. But the great mystery is how Jesus can be fully human and yet fully God without the one contributing to the other. It is a great mystery and mystery means what it says - it defies our human reasoning as does, of course, The Blessed Trinity too.

Jesus chose to shed His blood for our redemption; he did not have to. He could have redeemed us by shedding a single tear. If He would have chosen to redeem us by shedding a tear, we would have been redeemed by His tear, rather than by His Blood. Since He did choose to shed His Blood for us, and to redeem us by that act, we have been redeemed by His blood. We need to look at it as what He was willing to do for us, not what He had to do in order to redeem us. This is my point too! Though His Love for God which is poured forth humanly in love for us was willing to endure the cross - because crucifixion was the price asked of by his way of life. It is not God directly asking the crucifixion - but the incidents of his human life with which God does not interfere.

Suffering is the most difficult thing for human nature to endure. God wanted to proved His love for us by coming to earth and suffering for us. His suffering for us was to show us how much He loves us, it was not something that he had to do to accomplish our redemption. I agree with these comments too . . . thank you for your reply, I do not feel so much now as if I am standing on a precipice of heresy!


#6

HI Brabble,

You make an excellent point as to the passion being God’s way of showing his love for us.

As for the redemptive act, it is certainly Christ’s pledge of obedience as he came into the world :

Victims and offerings you did not want. But you fitted me with a body. Holocausts for sin did not please you. Then I said, "Behold, I come. At the head of the book it is written of me that I should do your will, O God.

Hebrews 10, 5

Verbum


#7

I agree with the other posters who have said it’s all about love, for we read:

Joh 3:16 [size=2]For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. [/size]

Jesus himself tells us:

Joh 15:13[size=2] Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends[/size]

[size=2][/size]
[size=2]Now the kicker:[/size]
[size=2][/size]

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

God not only loved us enough to die for us, he was giving us an example of how to love others as well.


#8

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