“You have fallen into such immoraliy; your crimes are so great, they demand death in payment.”

Said the King to the horrified crowd.

“But I am kind; in your place I shall kill my only son to absolve you.”

“Can’t we just say we’re sorry?”

Someone yelled from the assembly.

Something I’ve never understood about the Christ story is why God needs to have his son crucified in order to absolve all of our sins. I’m sure I’ve said something like this before, and I’ll probably say something similar again, but what does Christ’s dying have to do with the sins of individuals? How, that is, does one person being punished absolve anyone else of a crime?

This feature of the story makes a little more sense if we think of the theological background at that time: Christianity was a new religion with ambitions to spread across the Roman Empire, which at that time had established religions: Judaism and Paganism (from Egypt for instance). The easiest way to get converts to your religion is to keep things pretty much the same as in your older competition. As an example, think of the dates of Christian festivals, all occuring around old pagan festivals.

Blood sacrifice was a large part of paganism and Judaism, and people were used to the idea of sacrificing animals to their God(s) for harvests/forgiveness/fertility etc. so it had to make an appearance in Christianity (people like familiarity after all). But Christianity wanted to phase out sacrifices; so, what to do? Well, you make the story revolve around the greatest blood sacrifice ever: the sacrificing of a God; an offering of such a magnitude that it wipes away all sins for all time.

Still, when we think about it now, does it really make much sense. Would an all powerful God, who is completely without limits, need a sacrifice in order to forgive us for sins, some of which were carried over from before our births? (think Garden of Eden and original sin) Surely, being all gracious and all loving, he could just forgive us. Perhaps someone will say that if God could forgive sins without payment at all then he would not be just and there wouldn’t really be any justice in the world. Maybe this is true, but how does sacrificing an innocent get you justice for a crime committed by someone else?

All very interesting, and all very confusing. That’s all for today. Pip Pip!

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3 responses »

  1. jamieaaron03 says:

    Their is a long list of people in the Bible that were killed (or chased out of town, locked in prisons, mocked, etc) I personally don’t think it is possible to make much since out of it. Good people die. Evil people get to rule the world. I know a lot of “Christian” holidays are pretty much based on old Pagan ones. The holidays aren’t really in the bible, I guess we just created them for the heck of it.

    • Thanks Jamie, it’s true there aren’t holidays per say in the Bible, but the big events all got structures around the pagan calendar.

      I agree, I don’t think there’s a lot of sense in the Bible (I’m a recovering catholic myself)

      • jamieaaron03 says:

        Well, I’m a recovering Jehovah’s Witness. I’ve never really had a good understanding about the Catholic’s, it always seemed like they don’t focus of forming a relationship with God, they just do their creepy prayers in church, and rituals. Anyways, I think their are a lot of people out there, in a weird place in the world, in their life, that place after you don’t turn out how you were raised.

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