Greetings everyone who is following along. Over the past few weeks I have been busy reading some of the early Church Fathers. But, something was bothering me. I keep asking myself why did Jesus, who was holy and perfect die such a horrible death? After some further research and prayer, I believe I found some answers to this question.
After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the sacrifices ended. This was symbolic because, without the sacrifices, the people were not cleansed of their sins. Leviticus 16:11–34 tells the story of atonement: In it, Aaron is to offer a bull to make atonement for himself and his household. Then he is to take two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and cast lots to discover which goat was to be sacrificed. The goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert. Jesus is often compared to the scapegoat.
The concept of atonement, or reconciliation with God, is important in the Judeo-Christian religion. God created the world for humans out of love, and allowed humans a certain amount of freedom in their choices. If the Jews made bad choices, Israel was punished. Sacrifices to God were required in order to obtain atonement. It must be remembered that in Genesis God destroyed the world over human’s poor decisions. Many non-Christians, and even Christians, have a difficult time comprehending this concept. They question why a loving God required the blood of innocent animals, or the death of Jesus in order for humans to attain atonement? But, it is also necessary in the order of things. God is holy. For humans, who are not holy, atonement is important so they can be pure enough to have a relationship with God.
Likewise important in the Judeo-Christian religion is the concept of law and order. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, and later the Oral Law, or what was to become part of the Talmud. Humans must be held responsible for their consequences when they break these laws. Part of this is forgiveness, and at times punishment. Atonement becomes a way for humans to receive mercy from God. Punishment is essential when humans commit harm to one another Without punishment libel, murder, and theft would be permitted, and prisons non-existent. The world would be in chaos without an atonement system.
The Crucifixion was necessary because Christians can gain atonement when they accept Jesus and ask God for forgiveness. This is told in John 3:16– For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. All of this is part of God’s perfect plan, including the lifespan of Jesus. Jesus did live a perfect life, not only in deeds, but in the number of years and days he lived. This become important to the integral idea. For more on this read The Essence of Perfection. Until next time, GO WITH GOD!
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest, I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.