Blog - Atonement

"Rarely, will anyone die for a righteous person." The Impracticality of Jesus' Death

The problem I see every day amongst Christians is the inability to find a more practical explanation to those of us who don’t quite understand the meaning of giving up your only son to save a bunch of sinners. Why would anyone do that? And worse: no matter what kind of crook you’ve been your whole life,  just accept such a travesty and you secured a spot in heaven. And I’m supposed to reason with that?????  Come on!!!

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Does Paul care about and move us toward justice?

Question: A thought I gleaned from someone else: Remember for a moment the prophets, critiquing Israel’s priests: it’s not animals and blood upon the altar that God desires, it’s a broken and contrite heart, righteousness in our hearts and in our relationships.  (Gross oversimplification, I know – but I think mostly accurate.)  Fast-forward to Paul, who often interprets Christ’s death and resurrection in terms of God’s demand for some sort of satisfaction for our sins.  Hence, our ideas about substitutionary atonement, with lots of emphasis on Jesus blood as payment for our sins.  Question: Does this move that Paul makes make it a little harder for Christians to hear the call of those prophets, and God’s desire for hearts broken by injustice and cruelty?  From the perspective of one who has a tough time ‘sticking’ to substitutionary atonement, I’d be curious to hear your reflections on other ways to interpret the meaning of the cross.  (That’s your field, right?)

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