According to church teaching, the suffering of Jesus paid for the sins of man.
However, I’m wondering, can a single afternoon of torture (not saying that scouring and being crucified are not already terrible), really match up to the terrible consequences (genocide, rape, abortion, murder, greed…) of every man’s sins ever?
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 5
Jesus wanted to give all of himself out of love. In doing so he was our example because God wants all of us. Love is like that. If you are a married person you know that your spouse wouldn’t be satisfied with some of your love, when you want to give it or grudgingly given. Your spouse gave you all when you took your vows as you did, as well. It is the same with God–he gave us all of his love so we give him all of ours.
When men sin, they are stealing life for themselves - doing evil things to satisfy some lust to be alive. They are refusing to be patient, refusing to let themselves not live unless God will give them life as a gift. So they take, and steal, and slander, and murder, and rape, and murder their unborn children, and hoard wealth with no care for the poor.
Jesus came and did not do these things, but experienced his life as a gift from his Father in Heaven (God). When he was tempted by Satan to change stones into bread so he could remain alive rather than starve to death, and secure his title as Son of God, he refused to grab his own well being and life. Instead he said that man’s life comes from every word coming from God. (God did speak to some of the Holy Angels, and they came and fed Jesus and took care of him).
When Jesus gave his life, he gave something back to God that was worth more than any and all human life on the planet for all time - he gave back a life that came from God, rather than the stolen and fake lives that we grab for ourselves.
And his Father accepted this gift, this sacrifice, and then made a covenant with anyone who wanted to participate - if they are chosen by Baptism to be members of the covenant, and if they eat the flesh of the sacrifice and drink the blood of the sacrifice they will have new life in place of their old stolen lives. God does not bring sinful and stolen life into heaven, but he gives new life that is a gift from God, and nourishes that life by his Word.
That is a summary. It is not about letting evil people into heaven, but about making new people of those who let their old lives of sin go and come and follow Jesus as his People.
Would you like to be one of the People who have life as a gift from above?
Yes, because Jesus is God. God died on a cross. How could rape and genocide etc ever surpass that sacrifice? We are creatures, He is our Creator.
His death on a cross, is more of a payment than an infinite amount of Sin. In order for God to be both Infinitely Just and Infinitely Merciful there must be a way by which God can demand payment for the penalty of sin (Justice), and whereby God can also save mankind from having to pay it(Mercy). If He is infintely Just, all sinner are punished. If He is infinitely Merciful, then all sinners are forgiven. On the surface this is a contradiction, but the answer is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. By taking the debt of Sin of mankind upon Himself as God, He satisfied the demands of Justice upon sinners. By taking the debt on Himself, He was merciful to all sinners who accepted Him as their Lord and Savior This act of sacrificial Love of Jesus satisfied the infinite qualities of Divine Justice and dispensed the infinite graces of Divine Mercy.
Satisfaction for our sins is not measured by the extent of the torture Christ endured, but rather the love tied in with the offering. Christ could have received a single slap in the face and united it with his infinite love and that would have been enough to offer up to the Father for our sins.
Yes you’re right, a single act would have been sufficient. Christ willingly died so that he may rise from the dead in order to be Lord over life and death. Now that he is Lord over both life and death he has earned us the privilege to be co-heirs to eternal life. When we are baptized we also enter into the mysterious death and resurrection of Christ.
The Catholic Devotional I have from the 1950s, in its reflection on the Second Sorrowful Mystery - the Scourging - states, “Because Jesus Christ was divine, each one of His actions had infinite consequences. He could have, therefore, saved humanity by offering up a single heartbeat in His Mother’s womb. Men may have thought, however, as many do today, that sin is a trifling matter.”
Jesus chose to suffer in the way that He did. Jesus (and the Father) could have decided on a much less public display to redeem humanity. But Jesus and the Father wanted to remove all doubt in the hearts of men (and women) about the seriousness of sin. He wanted us to see sin for what it is. He also wanted us to see that humiliation is a consequence of our sinful nature - and allowed Himself to be crowned with thorns as a result.
As God He can do what He wills, but if prophecy is to be fulfilled, then it required something in continuity to what was revealed throughout salvation history. An act of righteousness would not be in continuity with prophecy. In fact, we are not taught by scripture that acts of righteousness expiate sin at all. We are taught by scripture that sin required a blood sacrifice.
“For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the holies by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Heb 13:11-12
So while I agree in the broad sense that anything God wills would be sufficient, it would have been ultimately incoherent if He didn’t suffer, and die on a cross.
“Christ had come in order to destroy death, not His own, (for since He is life itself, death could not be His), but men’s death. Hence it was not by reason of His being bound to die that He laid His body aside, but because the death He endured was inflicted on Him by men. But even if His body had sickened and dissolved in the sight of all men, it was not befitting Him who healed the infirmities of others to have his own body afflicted with the same. And even had He laid His body aside without any sickness, and had then appeared, men would not have believed Him when He spoke of His resurrection. For how could Christ’s victory over death appear, unless He endured it in the sight of all men, and so proved that death was vanquished by the incorruption of His body?” -St.John Chrysostom
Agreed, the prophecies had to be fulfilled, God chose to redeem us that way. I’m sure you understood the point I was making to our friend noorez so that he may grasp a deeper understanding of Christianity.
Yes, nor did he suffer for merely 3 hours on the cross. Apart from the scourging, crowning with thorns, the beatings and buffeting, the carrying of the cross after he’d been so cruelly torturned, he suffered the rejection of his own people, and not just on Holy Thursday or Good Friday, either. He lamented that Jerusalem would not listen to him or let him save the people. He was challenged and mocked and plotted against by the elite from the beginning of his public ministry. His own disciples didn’t understand him, not even the one he trusted the most–Simon Peter. He suffered such agony in the garden before his arrest that he sweat blood. All this he endured purely for love of his Father and of us–to redeem us so we can be saved, and for no other reason.