God sacrificing Himself?


#22

According to your tradition, yes. Not according to Christian tradition, which pre-dates Islam by hundreds of years. In fact, according to Christian tradition, ‘revelation from God’ came to an end with the death of the last of the 12 Apostles.

So, again: for me as a Christian, why should I believe something that I wouldn’t consider ‘revelation from God’, but rather, merely something that was written hundreds of years after the fact?


#23

I am Jewish, so I do not believe in the need for sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

However, I do understand the Sacrifice of the Cross.

According to Roman Catholicism, Jesus as the expression of God Incarnate was not merely offering a ransom price to God as if the God of the Jews could only be appeased by the blood sacrifice of a human being to forgive the sin inherent in humanity. Jesus was not offering a sacrifice to God or himself. Jesus or God was offering his life, his perfect life as God to humanity so that humanity could partake of it.

According to Catholicism, God intends for humans to share in eternal life in heaven that carries with it a facet of the Divine Life within it. Jesus of Nazareth suffered the Passion and died on the cross not merely to forgive sins but “that through these things you may become partakers of the divine nature,” as 2 Peter 1:4 states. Catholics teach that God partook of human nature for a definite period of time so that humanity might partake of divine nature of an indefinite period of time, in heaven with God.

The suffering of the Passion was indeed truly terrible, but is because some members of humanity share great suffering that others do not. Therefore, as some Christians see it, God lowered the Divine Nature in the Person of Jesus not to satisfy himself, as if God demands such blood-justice, but to partake of some of this horrific suffering upon the shoulders of Divinity, in order that God might comprehend through experience, if possible, everything all that humanity must suffer on earth. This way God can be just and in the right in offering humanity in sharing the divine nature with humanity after they have suffered and died.


#24

Judaism has something similar. We teach that there is a spark of the Divine in all things created, animate and inanimate. God is all in all. While one might say this is one of the reasons that divides us from seeing the need for a suffering Messiah since our tradition holds that God already understands our suffering by already partaking of it by nature, at the same time one may also say that the suffering Messiah as taught by the first disciples of Jesus (who were all Jews, by the way) is a very Jewish concept.

Of all creation, God can indeed comprehend suffering through the suffering of humanity since we are all made in the image of God. The concept of Messiah being Jewish, not Gentile, and the concept of the spark of Divinity being in all that God has created is not totally irrational in Jewish terms. Jews wouldn’t (and didn’t) see this as God offering himself as a sacrifice to God, as Jews don’t believe in the Trinity, but the offering isn’t actually seen that way in Christianity either despite the view that Jesus is held by Catholics as God the Son.

God does not need to be satisfied by death or blood, as God he eats or requires blood to balance the scales of justice. “Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?” the prophets and psalmists had God asking at Psalm 50:13. Of course not. The sacrificial system of animals as a means of atonement as other Biblical and post-Biblical writings would show, the sacrificial rite was an empty, outward form and not automatic as were genuine repentance, prayer and fasting, even on a national level.–Read Isaiah 1:11-17; 58:1-10; and Jonah chapter 3.

While as a Jew I am not here to teach what the Church or New Testament means when it refers to Christians being ransomed by, atoned with, or washed by means by Christ’s “blood,” it should be noted that Christians never wash, drink, or use literal blood in their worship. The only offering of blood in Mass, for example, that comes through Christ in Sacramental form, is not consumed by God but consumed by the Church for whom Jesus suffered and died for, the very same who partake of it during Holy Communion. Though referred as an “offering” to God, this seems symbolic (in the sacramental sense, that is), as those who partake of it are the beneficiaries of the sacrifice.

Usually, in a sacrifice, those for whom it is made drink of the blood. If God has not been drinking the blood of the Temple sacrifices, sacrifices which we as Jews no longer offer because we know that God accepts our genuine repentance, prayer, and fasting for atonement, what makes you think that Christians believe God drinks the blood of Jesus? Are not they the recipients of Blood when they partake of the Cup? It is not God.

God sacrificed, but not to or for God, but for humanity, or so Christians believe.


#25

Yes, God could have forgiven us any way that He saw fit, but that’s precisely why He chose to sacrifice Himself in order to obtain forgiveness for us. He created us and sacrificed Himself for us (even though He didn’t have to) because it shows just how deeply He loves us. We couldn’t possibly know the depths of His love if He hadn’t done this for us.


#26

You’re not getting it. The beauty of Jesus’s act was that He did it-in spite of the fact that His human flesh railed against it! He foresaw His sufferings. He sweated blood over them. He could’ve walked away right then!


#27

What do you think about Paul, also called Saul or Tarsus?


#28

He’s banned until March, but I imagine his response would be something like this:


#29

Was Mary not sinless according to Catholicism?


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