"What was the cost?"


#1

I was talking with my agnostic friend last night about the meaning of Christianity. He raised an interesting objection. Actually, it’s not an objection per se, but more of a doubt:

“What did Christ lose in becoming man, if he knew all along that he was going to die, rise again, and go to heaven? It doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice. There’s no risk, no tension…no surprise.”

To which I responded by talking about kenosis, about his “emptying out” when he became man. What are your thoughts on this?


#2

For another thing, he was in extreme anguish in the garden in the mere anticipation of his horribly cruel torture and death. “not much of a sacrifice”?:confused:


#3

His entire life was in preparation for and anticipation of the Passion.
Has your freind seen the movie? Uncertainty regarding one’s final destination is hardly the only concern (though perhaps the most important - it being infinite) of life.


#4

And I don’t think it was only the physical pain and suffering. God Himself, knowing no sin, capable of no sin, loving us so much, took on the real and particular sin of every person (with it’s sadness, alienation, hate, everything) that would ever be. Pow, I just got grateful again.


#5

AMEN to all the responses - JKirk, I’m with you! (I just got grateful again)

If I can ask a dumb question - I’ve never heard of this kenosis before. What was that? The divinity couldn’t have been removed from him, could it?

Thank you!
Elizabeth


#6

Rather than belittling what Christ did (He didn’t have to lift a finger, of course) we should recognize that with strong enough faith each of us will also go to heaven as well. We’re no worse off than Christ, but most of us don’t have the faith to see that.


#7

He allowed Himself to be shamed and humiliated by His creations, whom He only ever desired to love…

If my children treated me like that and I endured it with loving patience, I suppose you could consider that a sacrifice…

RyanL


#8

It hurt like hell, for one thing. Plus He also saw clearly the full horror of sin. Your agnostic friend could never bear such pain. None of us could.


#9

In addition to his sacrifice, He came to give us an example. Now compared to a just abstract notion of God, where someone states something akin to “Thus says the Lord” and that is it, there is a closeness that the incarnation has brought. This manifests the extent of the love God has for us. It just fully impresses me and fills my heart when I contemplate this. Which probably is just one of the many reasons for God to do this, to show His love for us.

Scylla


#10

[quote=The Augustinian]I was talking with my agnostic friend last night about the meaning of Christianity. He raised an interesting objection. Actually, it’s not an objection per se, but more of a doubt:

“What did Christ lose in becoming man, if he knew all along that he was going to die, rise again, and go to heaven? It doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice. There’s no risk, no tension…no surprise.”

To which I responded by talking about kenosis, about his “emptying out” when he became man. What are your thoughts on this?
[/quote]

Maybe the idea of ‘sacrifice’ doesn’t explain the whole story.


#11

To answer "What did Christ lose?"
I’d say: His life - as a Man - by terrible sufferings.

He willingly gave up his life, so that we might have eternal Life.

Jesus suffered, not merely as Man, but also as God.

He knew how much He had to suffer for the sins of the whole world - for all time. Because of this fore-knowledge, Jesus must have suffered at least twice. First during his prayers in the Garden of Olives, and again when what He foresaw became actuality: the flogging, a crown of thorns beaten into His head, the carrying of the cross on a body that was one open wound, the crucificion itself.

Because of this foreknowledge of his impending sufferings, Jesus sweated blood. I don’t know, or have never heard of anyone sweating blood like Jesus did. (Probably mystics, but that’s another story.)

Jesus, as God, is a Being with unlimited capacities. His suffering must have been expecienced on severly spiritual levels in the most intense, unlimited way, unfathomably to mere human beings. Jesus’ whole Life can be considered a Life of Suffering. Consider the hardships (hunger, thirst, no comfortable places to sleep while on his many exhausting travels), ridicule, humiliations, ungratefulness, and many other things.

By the sacrifice of giving up his earthly life, flesh was united with the spiritual. That’s why we can receive Jesus wholly in Holy Communion - Body and Blood (flesh), His Soul and Divinity. Not just in a spiritual manner.

I think all this adds up to one HUGE Sacrifice.

Jesus lost his Life, in order to give men Eternal Life.


#12

Jesus, being the second person of the Trinity, is completely whole and unneeding of our existence. Anything that the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit does for our salvation is to be accepted gratefully and humbly. They needed to do nothing for us.

That Jesus would allow himself to become fully human, feeling our pain, baring our sins on the cross for our sake makes me tremble. Any effort by the divine on our part is worthy of our unending thanks and praise.


closed #13

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