The argument "God sacrifice to Himself" and Scripture


I wanted to know if there is a way to show atheists that it is not illogical that God the Son sacrificed HImself to God the Father. They say it is silly, because if God sacrifices his Son to HImself, what’s the point of the jewish sacrifices, and more importantly, is it not an evident failure of God?

So why would you adress that argument, with Scripture would be better?

I tried to show that because God only can forgive, then it had to be God who had to come, but they don’t get the logic and see it as a unnecessary circle.

Thank you :slight_smile:


I don’t know if you can convince atheists. I would argue the covenant.

A covenant ends when one party to the covenant dies. The covenant between God and Israel could only end when either Israel or God himself died. Jesus was God, and he died - an act of mercy to end the old covenant and make way for the new covenant.

I actually wouldn’t talk to atheists about any of that. I would tell them what my life was like before I met Christ, how I met Christ and what my life is like now that I know Christ. That’s called Christian Witness. Paul gives his witness three times in the Acts of the Apostles.

I would witness to how my life has changed now that I know Christ and have the sacraments. Then I would invite them to experience that change for themselves. That’s what the Gospel is - the Good News of how Jesus can change our lives, give us hope when there was none.



If I remember right, the Jewish sacrifices were only put in place by God as a reminder to the Jewish people (and really everyone) that they couldn’t do it on their (our) own. There’s more about this in Hebrews that I don’t remember.


First you say “God the Son sacrificed HImself”
than you say “God sacrifices his Son to HImself”

God the Father did not sacrifices his Son ! neither did Abraham !

It was the Son Jesus Christ that sacrificed himself !

And we should do the same !


I agree with all you say everyone,
but the problem is

  1. Atheists come up with this, not I
  2. Since they know the Trinity a bit, they mean God the Father, the Son and the Spirit are One, so the sacrifice of God to God is nonsense. I wanted to find a way to show them the journey of the jewish people and why only God himself could be satisfactory.

Would it be ok to say: Jesus being human, earns merit which is given to us. Jesus being also God, the merit he earns for his obedience is infinite.

I think it owuld be a beginning.

Also, i think they play with old heresies: God, who cannot die, his sacrifice is unnecessary and/or can’t atone anything.

But the main point remains this: FOr atheists it is to say. God does the mess, has the Power to turn everything back to normal by His own power, and does that be sacrifying HImself to Himself, which does not look like a sacrifice. See ? :rolleyes:


I think the Trinity is really misunderstood by many, including atheists, who easily forget that its three individual Persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in one single Being (God). So the Son did the Father’s will and sacrificed Himself to the Father, as two legitimate persons, even though they were both part of God, who is a Trinity.


If God exists and if man is able to sin against Him it follows that there is no way in which man can atone for the sins against God since man is not God. Only God can in justice atone for the sins against Himself, therefore the Father sent the Son Who is both God and Man and is thus able to atone for our sins through the sacrifice of Himself enabling man to enter into friendship and sonship in the Son.


tell the atheists that not only did the Son sacrifice Himself once, we also sacrifice Him every single day at mass, to the Father. it Is an UNFAIR bargain for God to pay with His life for mankind:who will reasonably pay more to get less?
But it shows how much God loves us: for the Creator to die for the creation.
logically it is ****; but spiritually it is our faith.


Infact take the lead on the atheists and tell them that a more logical question would have been if it is possible for the immortal God to die in the first place.


It seems kind of an uphill battle to prove anything to an atheist using sacred scripture, unless you can find an atheist who will agree to the reliability and veracity of scripture, which would kind of out them as agnostic, and leaning Judeo Christian.


I think you would agree that there is a difference between understanding and accepting a belief. Therefore, the atheist wants to get the logic of this, even though it won’t change his mind.
I guess i can’t go much further than saying that mankind was too messed up to do anything on his own for redemption, then give a quick look to the messianic prophecies.

Also, i think it is hard for some people to understand such a gift from God, that without merit of our own we can receive salvation by faith and live a new and better life. Law demands justice, but God does justice with Himself: Love, patience, help, and all the gifts of the Spirit.

I could also, i think, quote jesus saying that we should always forgive. So if as humans we should, why is it illogical for God to FREELY accept to give Himself?


(I think it was GK Chesterton that said God doesn’t believe in atheists.)

The “binding of Isaac” and the later covenant Jewish sacrifices are “types” that point to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus our Savior. Only God could pay the price for all our sins and the Father willed that the Son would be the high sacrifice of all time.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that those who BELIEVE in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

If faith were “logical” it would not be faith. What is required, first of all, is faith.

So, the atheist’s argument boils down to “why should I believe.” Sadly, if the atheist is not given the gift of faith by the Father, then s/he cannot come to the Son.

The atheist should pray, even if s/he doesn’t believe, in logical terms of revelation.

C.S. Lewis remarked that God does not always give us the gift of making a response to a bully (which is what he was writing about) or, by extension, to an atheist. So, I wouldn’t worry about it. Keep your dear atheists in your prayers.


The atheist doesn’t say it is not logical so it can’t be. He says that he would like to understand the logic of a believer.


Well, that’s just the thing Marco. While it is based on both faith and reason, and reason can take you as far as the historicity, and I believe even the divinity of Christ, (if one is predisposed to divinity at ALL). Once you can see that Christ is Lord, however you get there, then you can trust the scriptures as authoritative, and can accept them on their face, without the stumbling block of logic formulas. The Lord, would by necessity be truth, and could only convey truth. So at this point, one can read the narratives of the atonement and garner an innate understanding of what is going on here. You’re not looking to trip up the evangelists who are writing the scripture. You’re looking at them through the eyes of belief, which in the end, is a grace of God. Hence the old expression:

For a believer, no explanation is necessary. For a non believer, no explanation will suffice, (or something to that effect.)

And so, we believers can only try to lead the nonbeliever to a disposition of openness to the truth. The Holy Spirit must to the rest. It’s humbling to know that I will in fact not likely be the agent that the Holy Spirit chooses to bring some of my friends and loved ones to God. But on the other hand, He did allow me to be the agent for some. For the others, I only pray that the Holy Spirit will act in their lives, and that they will be granted the grace of faith. This may seem small, but since faith is ultimately a grace of God, it is the largest task which we are given.

So what am I saying here? Good question. I think what I’m saying is that we do our best to help someone consider Jesus Christ in a fuller light, and to come to trust that He is who He said He is, and then, having planted that seed, water it with prayer and fasting. The Lord Himself will do the rest.


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