>Oh No He Di’int!

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Ok so we’ve laid some groundwork for the discussion…and have had some great feedback! I want to change gears for a moment and open a can of worms and insert a disclaimer **This post may ruffle your theological feathers – you may find yourself at complete odds with what is going to be asked – defensive and accusatory! Please respond with grace and love – and most of all don’t presume you know where other people are on these questions!**

Ok – let’s just jump in!

Why did Jesus die on the cross?

  • To forgive our sins?
    • Consider Jesus forgave sins before his death and resurrection (ie. – Mark 2.1-13)
    • G_d forgave Israel’s sins before Jesus ever walked the earth (ie. – Isaiah 43.25)
  • To overcome death?
    • Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead! (John 11)
    • Elijah never dies (2 Kings 2)
    • Enoch never dies (Gen 5.24)
    • Moses and Elijah appear at transfiguration (Mk. 9)
    • Jesus argues against the Sadducees that the G_d of Israel is the G_d of the living  (Mk. 12)
  • Fulfill the sacrificial system?
    • G_d has alread had enough of the sacrificial system according to Isaiah (1.11)
    • Psalm 51 [esp. 16,17] **(this Psalm actually also demonstrates a sense that G_d is also forgiving sins before Jesus)
    • Hosea 6.6
    • The apostles continued to go to the Temple Service daily (Lk. 24.50-53)

So if Jesus had to die and be raised in order for us to be declared righteous in the eyes of G_d – How did Abraham accomplish this? How did David?

It is important for us to remember that there are other passages in the Text that we must wrestle with (or maybe you feel that I must wrestle with) but we must wrestle with these as well! I have many thoughts on this subject and what I perceive to be a biblically sound concept – but I don’t want to color the conversation until I’ve had time to hear each of your reflective thoughts!

I’d also really like our discussion to remain (however loosely) around thoughts on sin! (forgiveness of sins – that’s easy; Death – Paul says the wages of sin is death; Sacrificial system – based on unintentional sins for individuals and corporately)

Thanks! Let’s have some good and fun discussions!

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10 thoughts on “>Oh No He Di’int!

  1. >Interesting about Luke 24:50-53 – However, I would ask…it just says they were at the temple, it doesn't say they were sacrificing. How can you be sure that was what they were doing?Your thoughts do pose a very significant question: if G-d was forgiving sins, and Jesus was forgiving sins…then what is the purpose of his death? I have to admit I'm still a tad confused on the whole reason for the death on the cross thing. Partially because of the examples you gave, but also partially because of the whole thought about the fulfillment and payment for vows. Wouldn't that be the same thing as the sacrificial system, in essence?At the risk of inciting a crowd of people with pitchforks and torches, are we sure that death was even the plan?

  2. >I was wondering how long it would take someone to point that out about Lk. 24 – I suppose that we can't assume it but if they perceived the sacrificial system to be obsolete we could conclude that participation in even being present in/at the Temple would be unlikely…but not definite. This is why I only used it as one of many examples – it is like evidence for CSI – one clue is not enough to 'know' but when you look at many clues you can form an informed conclusion…but still arguable!

  3. >I still think you seem to have "cleared the room" with one. I even have my own thoughts as to why this seems to happen whenever someone presents a mega-question like this (I'm slightly surprised no-one has rebuked you yet, ha!)….But I'll try to stick with the subject at hand for now.I'm gonna post soon, as I been saying for days, and I hope more people do too and I hope you can hold off for a little bit before moving "on to the next one" (to quote Jay Z).What you're challenging is heavy…and I believe very worthwhile. I just need to collect my thoughts and challenge my own preconceived notions & traditions before responding.One thing I can use your (or anyones) help with in the meantime; I need a refresher. What are the Hebrew definitions of "death"? A final state? Permanent departure? Simply, the end of life? An end? Seperation from a prior state? Am I close?This is relevant to my thoughts, I promise.Also, I'm pre-apologizing. I'm really struggling with speaking of "Jesus & sin" without wandering into "salvation". I've concluded that I'm going to cross between the two in this dialogue. It's like trying to describe "wet" without defining "dry". Am I the only only one having a problem seperating the two as subject matter? I promise to keep trying though.Hey, can you shoot an email or FB inbox when you respond to this Q so I can know to "do my homework"? Thanks for any help/ info brutha!

  4. >As far as bringing 'salvation' into the discussion – I agree that these two things go hand-in-hand but (ha you knew the 'but' was coming) I think the discussion of 'how' one is saved is not the same thing as 'what' happens once one is saved – in regards to sin!If confession of sin is a prerequisite for salvation (though there are many counter examples in the text – think thief on cross) then that is one topic…if you want to discuss what happens to sin (and us being accountable for it on Judgment Day) once we are saved that is a different discussion.The death of Jesus on the cross (reason behind it) is about salvation – but I would say it is the salvation from sin (read:: Exodus from the oppressive life) as opposed to a departure from this world (as is often what it is expressed as – a ticket to heaven)Therefore – I would assert that the death of Jesus (and resurrection – of course!) is not for the sake of G_d (that He was previously lacking some ability to redeem us) but instead what if G_d always had the ability and the death and resurrection is actually about us?**Death in Hebrew thought was (ancient times) debated…was it 'the end' or was there more – was 'the more' for everyone or 'just' the Saints…these were just a few of the debates.

  5. >Thanks. The "but" actually lead to good points. I guess it helps me to focus. This tree could have many branches. I want to try to climb the same one as you intend.Recalculating…More to come.

  6. >Alright, alright, alright.I cant seem to get my thoughts together as coherently as hoped so I’m gonna have to throw random thoughts out and hope it is somehow helpful.Regarding Leviticus 25; I’ve always found it interesting the minutia of “legal-eze” that God will indulge speaking in for us, when we keep requiring more definition of rules lest we keep trying to create more loopholes. It’s a very detailed text. Convoluted. Specific. Governmental even. It’s what we think we want (all the details of his intended design for us laid out like bullet points so we can be part of the management team), but everything that HE knows leads us down unintended paths all-the-more. I’ve always appreciated the concept of Jubilee for this. I’m convinced that if the metaphor were available at that time, the bible would likely call it a “re-boot” just like we do with our PC’s. It’s a chance to restart as brand new after allowing a system to clog under its own input. A fresh start that begins with running only the original programs & pure designs, before we added all the viruses, unnecessary add-ons and flaws to the system in hopes of improving a once good product. This reboot maintains the integrity and individuality of the system yet streamlines it back to necessity so it can function quicker and more accurately. It is necessary now-and-then for optimum use. When I read the chapter though, I can only assume that many of the folks resented Jubilee and partook begrudgingly at heart. For God to equalize what man has made calculable is a communication breakdown that man still blames and spits about even today.We prefer measurables and we minimize infinities to our own likings. Gods love. The worth of a soul. Time as an eternity in all directions. The endlessness of math. The magnitude of space and matter. These are all things that we know are beyond our scope, so we prefer to ignore them or we condense them at best. We still want to be part of his dialogue about these things though, but unrestricted by the reality of them. God is patient to put up with this, much less to lovingly allow us to experience some components when we have earned no right to do so.In this manner, I see in the law that he provided a release valve for this pressure cooker called mans-law. Leviticus 25 shows much mercy and communication on the part of our loving God, while also addressing measurability, as we so plead for him to do.However, I think it furthers the notion that Jesus, much later, died for our sins NOT as the final tool that God was missing (because he has never lacked any capability) but for US, in every way to have multiple measurements and proofs that we are forgiven and loved interpersonally, yet required to partake in the relationship actively. To answer your 3 questions; I believe God has always been able to forgive sins in whichever way he sees fit. He doesn’t just overcome death, he transcends it. I believe that any fulfilling the sacrificial system was not for Gods sake, but for OUR understanding, our hope, our faith-building, our mercy. God is not restricted by the rules we asked for. He does not need knowledge. He IS the knowledge. The word.I think that the painful sacrifice of Christ was for us in EVERY way. Not just on the surface level of redemption, but also in the notion of communication through sacrifice, death and resurrection. An example. An expression. A proxy. A validation of value. (More to come in next post, still too verbose…)

  7. >An equalization of everyone’s worth and opportunity to the utmost, not the average. The changing of Zero. The perfect reboot.There is a great scene in the movie “Stand & Deliver” in which Escalante (America’s greatest teacher) teaches his underperforming students the concept of “Zero”. He brings a bowl of level sand. He scoops one handful out and says “negative”. Fills it level and says “Zero”. Packs more on top in a clump and says “Positive”. It goes on for a while; “Less than”, “Zero”, “More than”…and on and on, until they get it. The concept of a balanced budget or a profitable company depends on understanding “Zero” as equalized. Fresh. New. Complete.Man at heart is a capitalist consumer (not in political terms) always looking at Zero as incomplete, unfarmed or ready for the ravaging. Failure even. I believe Jesus sacrifice was enough to always place any debt back to zero. ANY debt. Typically, when we hear debt we think in financial terms so I will attempt one last expression in this writing; If someone told me that they are so rich that they pre-paid ANY debt I or anyone else could muster in my lifetime, yet I could have no excess or profit left over (for it since it is too large to add to or subtract from), I would not be able to fathom what this means monetarily. I would likely put it to the test though. After yachts and jet planes I would say “Do I owe anything yet?” When the answer is “No” I would ask if I could buy more. When the answer is “Yes” I’d maybe say “But if I resist the urge and buy less than someone else, can I be credited with more worth than them?”. When the answer is “No”, I would likely resent this…because I am a sick man. Although I have everything credited to me at my disposal I still want to be able to be valued comparatively. To nurture my value my way. To own the methodology. If every person could have anything desired, equally, then everything is devalued…to us. This is an economic law for any nation to varying degrees and methods. Every child has asked “Why do we need money? Why doesn’t everybody let everyone else have what they ask for?”. We know that thru man’s flaws, we would contribute less if we can’t measure the worth of rewards in return for labor. “Devalued” as a word has negative connotation to man. We function poorly under it. We don’t see it as “Immeasurable” although they are often synonymous.I believe that Jesus is the measuring stick of love. He is God. Worth more than any of our count-ables and traded for our debt, not for HIS benefit in any way, but for OUR understanding of the value of our own souls and the endless immeasurability of his love.I hope this is not too philosophical rather than spiritual as I write it. I just believe that God’s forgiveness is devalued to us (therefore our own understanding and acceptance of his love for us) without the sacrifice of Jesus. A priceless antique (worth than dollars can measure) traded for a price-able object (like a simple car) doesn’t lessen the worth of the antique, it increases the value of the car forevermore. It is now valued at what it was bartered for. Forever.We can't comprehend the value of redemption. But we CAN Comprehend that we are valued at the SAME fantastic worth, due to Christ's action. We are equal to the most treasured in value.Praise be to God for the things we can’t understand.

  8. >…Sorry, I had to finish that up quick at work. I never got to finalize my thought.I therefore conclude that sin is not a behavior or list of acts/ choices to avoid. It is instead a state. A state of not being entirely of God's nature. Of being less than the wisdom and intentions that come from pure love.Our sin is the scooped sand from the bowl. Whether a large scoop or a slight scoop or a shovel-full, we are ALL less than zero without Christ. Less than complete. Sin is the deficit of our spirit.

  9. >As Fisher said, I am trying to think through this. I'll have to look up the verses before replying more thoroughly. I do have another "what if" that doesn't involve our (man's) sin that could be the reason. Since it doesn't involve our sin, I will make it brief.What if Jesus died on the cross to prove a point to Satan and his followers? Maybe one small part of the crucifixion was an act of spiritual warfare that reminded the one who is allowed to interfere in the lives of man that he can only interfere because God allows. What did Jesus do for the three days he was in hell? Perhaps that is more of the answer than the aside we have made it out to be.Not saying that isn't one horrible, painful, gut-wrenching act if used "just" to prove a point…Don, I am curious about something. If your thread of thought was about love instead of sin, what would be your questions of the reason Christ died on the cross? Would an angle of love instead of sin change your questions significantly?

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