No man will die for another man's sin?


#1

I saw a video where a Christian pastor was debating a Jewish rabbi over Jesus being the messiah.

The rabbi brought up the verse Ezekiel 18:20, which says “The soul that sins, it shall die.The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son…”

He used this verse to prove that Jesus could not have died for our sins, because according to that verse, a man can’t die for another man’s sins.

What is everyone’s take on this?


#2

The "mechanics" of the atonement are somewhat of a mystery, and certainly as far as my maturity on the subject. But here are my initial thoughts. In Baptism, we die and rise with Christ. His atonement is not strictly substitutionary in the sense that he did it and we don't do anything. Because we actually participate in his sacrifice that was for the redemption of mankind. In baptism we die and rise with him. In the Eucharist, we partake in the one bread, one body, one sacrifice. Ezekiel sounds more like a reference to personal guilt and would indicate to me that everyone must make repentance - nobody else can do it for you. It also indicates to me that personal sin is not inherited. The very next verse reads:*But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (Ez. 18:21)*All of chapter 18 refers to an individual turning toward or away from God. The Church, which is Christ's body, is not something alien to Christ and his sacrifice.


#3

[quote="followingtheway, post:1, topic:336276"]
I saw a video where a Christian pastor was debating a Jewish rabbi over Jesus being the messiah.

The rabbi brought up the verse Ezekiel 18:20, which says "The soul that sins, it shall die.The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son..."

He used this verse to prove that Jesus could not have died for our sins, because according to that verse, a man can't die for another man's sins.

What is everyone's take on this?

[/quote]

My take: The rabbi is creating a strawman.

In the full context of the entire chapter, it describes how the actions of the *human *individuals in determining sin on themselves based on their own acts. As the chapter details, a good son sired of an evil father is only responsible for his own acts of good and evil and not that of his father's or his grandfathers.

The rabbi's analogy fails because he fails to accept the Christian belief that God is God. While the Second Person, God the Son, is begotten by the Father, their relationship is not the same as human relationships. God the Father and God the Son are not entirely human, nor have they ever sinned.

The rabbi seems to also ignore Christ's role, which is not in the context of Ezekiel 18. Christ's sacrifice reflects the type of Abraham and his willing offering of sacrifice of his son, Isaac. Abraham shows God how much he loves him by offering Him his own flesh and blood (an act that God halts before the sacrifice is made).

Likewise, the Jews mirror this offering of sacrifice on the Day of Atonement by giving a high-quality animal to sacrifice in the Temple. The animal isn't human, nor would a mere creation of God be sufficient to remove any sins in an individual. The Jews were directed to perform this act as a sign of piety that points to the Sacrifice that would work.

The sins of all mankind couldn't be reconciled with anything earthly. To atone for man, it would take a sacrifice of infinite worth. God the Son fit that bill. To incarnate him as Man, a perfect one at that, also fit the need.

Christ could not sin, nor the Father, and neither are entirely human. So the rabbi's argument does not apply to God Himself.


#4

[quote="Spencerian, post:3, topic:336276"]
My take: The rabbi is creating a strawman.

In the full context of the entire chapter, it describes how the actions of the *human *individuals in determining sin on themselves based on their own acts. As the chapter details, a good son sired of an evil father is only responsible for his own acts of good and evil and not that of his father's or his grandfathers.

The rabbi's analogy fails because he fails to accept the Christian belief that God is God. While the Second Person, God the Son, is begotten by the Father, their relationship is not the same as human relationships. God the Father and God the Son are not entirely human, nor have they ever sinned.

The rabbi seems to also ignore Christ's role, which is not in the context of Ezekiel 18. Christ's sacrifice reflects the type of Abraham and his willing offering of sacrifice of his son, Isaac. Abraham shows God how much he loves him by offering Him his own flesh and blood (an act that God halts before the sacrifice is made).

Likewise, the Jews mirror this offering of sacrifice on the Day of Atonement by giving a high-quality animal to sacrifice in the Temple. The animal isn't human, nor would a mere creation of God be sufficient to remove any sins in an individual. The Jews were directed to perform this act as a sign of piety that points to the Sacrifice that would work.

The sins of all mankind couldn't be reconciled with anything earthly. To atone for man, it would take a sacrifice of infinite worth. God the Son fit that bill. To incarnate him as Man, a perfect one at that, also fit the need.

Christ could not sin, nor the Father, and neither are entirely human. So the rabbi's argument does not apply to God Himself.

[/quote]

I agree with you that the rabbi is talking apples and oranges, or at least McIintosh apples and Rome apples. However, note that in the example of Abraham, his sacrifice was stayed by G-d. A self-sacrifice offer by Moses was also halted by G-d. Now, it is true, according to Jewish belief, that a Tzadik (holy, righteous man) can sacrifice to reduce the sins of the people by means of his own suffering, but NOT by his death. This is a distinction G-d made to separate animal sacrifice from human sacrifice and the customs of the Jewish people from those of the Pagans, who engaged in human as well as animal sacrifices. Further, the Tzadik does not eliminate others' sins entirely; the sinners must still atone individually.


#5

There's a difference between dying FOR another man's sins (as a sacrifice) and dying BECAUSE of another man's sins. This particular passage seems to be referring to the latter.


#6

Isaiah 52:13---53:12 describes the sinless Servant who by his voluntary suffering and death atones for the sins of his people and saves them from just punishment at the hands of God.


#7

Did we look up iniquity? It means sins or wickedness.

We can die as a result the sins of our fathers but we can not be judged because of the sins of our fathers.

The first part of this verse tells us what we are talking about. It's about souls. Its talking about the second death which is the condemnation of our souls at judgement if we are wicked.

Souls don't die when the body dies.


#8

I like this verse which shows that God didn't order a genocide in the book of Joshua.

That said, Jesus was Himself God, so the situation is not quite the same ;-)


#9

I always appreciate your input on threads meltzerboy, so please know that I don’t intend my question to be confrontational. But, I am wondering how the words of Isaiah in Chapter 53 are interpreted by Jewish scholars if they hold that the death of a righteous man cannot reduce/atone for the sins of people?

Eg. vs 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, …upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,…
vs 6 …and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of all. (also vs 11)
vs 7 …like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,…
vs 8 …who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
vs 9 And they made his grave with the wicked…
vs 10 …when he makes himself an offering for sin,
vs 12 …because he poured out his soul to death, …he bore the sin of many


#10

[quote="Spencerian, post:3, topic:336276"]
Christ could not sin, nor the Father, and neither are entirely human.

[/quote]

Not entirely true.


#11

[quote="meltzerboy, post:4, topic:336276"]
I agree with you that the rabbi is talking apples and oranges, or at least McIintosh apples and Rome apples. However, note that in the example of Abraham, his sacrifice was stayed by G-d. A self-sacrifice offer by Moses was also halted by G-d. Now, it is true, according to Jewish belief, that a Tzadik (holy, righteous man) can sacrifice to reduce the sins of the people by means of his own suffering, but NOT by his death. This is a distinction G-d made to separate animal sacrifice from human sacrifice and the customs of the Jewish people from those of the Pagans, who engaged in human as well as animal sacrifices. Further, the Tzadik does not eliminate others' sins entirely; the sinners must still atone individually.

[/quote]

If a Tzadik were to offer every ounce of his suffering for the sins of the people, would this not lead to his death? Can you not say that he died for their sins, because his suffering was thoroughly complete?


#12

[quote="Nita, post:9, topic:336276"]
I always appreciate your input on threads meltzerboy, so please know that I don't intend my question to be confrontational. But, I am wondering how the words of Isaiah in Chapter 53 are interpreted by Jewish scholars if they hold that the death of a righteous man cannot reduce/atone for the sins of people?

Eg. vs 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, ...upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,...
vs 6 ...and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of all. (also vs 11)
vs 7 ...like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,....
vs 8 ...who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
vs 9 And they made his grave with the wicked....
vs 10 ...when he makes himself an offering for sin,
vs 12 ...because he poured out his soul to death, ....he bore the sin of many

[/quote]

The Jewish interpretation of this passage from Isaiah, which is often used as a "proof-text" for Jesus as the Messiah of the Jewish people (and the Gentiles), is that Israel was wounded from the transgressions OF OTHER NATIONS, and that these nations will one day, presumably when the Messiah comes, realize they had brought misery and harm to the Jewish people. This interpretation is based on the Hebrew text itself as well as the context of Isaiah according to previous passages (Isaiah 41, 44, 45, 48, and 49, in particular) in which the prophet clearly states that Israel is the Suffering Servant of G-d. Thus it is not a man and his sacrifice about whom Isaiah is speaking, but rather the nation of Israel.


#13

But it is precisely NOT the function of the Tzadik to offer EVERY ounce of suffering for the sins of the people. His function is to mitigate the people’s suffering, just as personal suffering here on earth may serve to mitigate punishment in Purgatory. The remainder of the atonement process is the responsibility of the individual.


#14

[quote="meltzerboy, post:12, topic:336276"]
The Jewish interpretation of this passage from Isaiah, which is often used as a "proof-text" for Jesus as the Messiah of the Jewish people (and the Gentiles), is that Israel was wounded from the transgressions OF OTHER NATIONS, and that these nations will one day, presumably when the Messiah comes, realize they had brought misery and harm to the Jewish people. This interpretation is based on the Hebrew text itself as well as the context of Isaiah according to previous passages (Isaiah 41, 44, 45, 48, and 49, in particular) in which the prophet clearly states that Israel is the Suffering Servant of G-d. Thus it is not a man and his sacrifice about whom Isaiah is speaking, but rather the nation of Israel.

[/quote]

Thank you.


#15

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