There’s one question I’ve never heard asked as part of an inquiry into Christianity: Why was Jesus’ so-called “sacrifice” considered to be so significant?
Let’s examine some details of the narrative:
- He came here to die, and knew it was going to happen
- He knew it wouldn’t be permanent
- He isn’t dead
That last one is important.
You keep using that word; I don’t think it means what you think it means.
Simple question: why are we calling it a “sacrifice” if he isn’t dead?
We have someone who’s literally a god, who knows he came here to die on the cross (but only for three days) after which he’d be immortal for all eternity. The average fireman risks themselves more on every shift.
Ah, but perhaps you’re thinking that he was separated from God at the time, and that he was just a man, and that he felt pain and fear and disconnection. That would make more sense if he wasn’t actually God himself. All the trinity hand-waving in the world doesn’t square that circle.
He knew he was going to live forever. He knew “dying” wasn’t death at all, since he’s actually the creator of the universe and could simply regenerate himself, make 1,000 more universes if he wanted to, have 1,000 more sons if he wanted to, etc. Every. Single. Obstacle…was self-imposed.
He gave his only begotten son.
Explain that to me. Who gave who? God is God. Jesus is God. They’re all part of the trinity, right? So how does one part of the trinity sacrifice another part of it–except not–because neither part actually died.
Then explain how an omnipotent entity cannot simply create 10,000 more sons, or suns, or multiverses. He can change light to dark, change Coke to Pepsi, destroy the totality of existence as easily as he created it–whatever. But losing a “son” for a weekend, when that “son” is actually a 100% immortal piece of yourself–that’s supposedly a hardship.
And keep in mind that he actually created–atom by atom–the entire world in which this so-called tragedy would happen. Not only did he create the Earth and the Jews and the weapons and the food and the legal system that’d be used to convict him–but he also already knew the outcome before he even started. So he went from being alone to putting the entire thing in motion, knowing precisely how it would play out. This doesn’t just take the sting out of it; it makes the entire thing ridiculous.
Remember, it was just him in the beginning. No universe, no planets, no Earth, no trees, no snakes, no evil…nothing. Just him. Nobody suffering. Nobody sad because they didn’t know happiness. Nothing. And into that world God injected all the pieces for this horrible existence to play out–exactly as he knew it would. That’s somewhere between careless and sickening, depending on your evaluation.
Some like to say that you can’t have good without evil. Sure, but you also can’t have evil if don’t have highly flawed people in the first place to commit that evil, surrounded by circumstances that you already knew would cause it to happen. He engineered every single variable.
What kind of fourth-grader logic can’t figure out that if you create the world atom by atom and produce a world where you know with absolute certainty that billions of people will suffer horribly, that you’re responsible?
There was nothing. No suffering. No people to suffer. Just God. It is not a moral act to create a species in which the vast majority of people who have ever lived will choose incorrectly and suffer an eternity of hell–when you have the option to 1) not create that world, or 2) create a different one where that’s not the case.
The free will argument (that he gave free will, so it’s on us) is silly at Herculean levels. In the first case you can’t give someone true free will if you know all the variables that will affect their decisions. Not only do you know them, but you assembled them–atom by atom. If you go with, “He didn’t know every variable and every option”, then now he’s a horribly irresponsible and arguably evil entity that just gave a child a sawed off shotgun and an owners manual (but only some people got the manual, and only in a language that a small portion of the world speaks).
Anyway, that’s the setup. Then the claim is that he injects his only son (which he should be able to make more of) into this mix, so that he can die, so he can rescue the people he hand-made (atom by atom), from nothing (he also invented the atoms, by the way, and all the laws of physics). Only the only son won’t actually die, he’ll actually live forever.
Oh, and the son is actually him. They’re the same person. Yeah.
But let’s say it’s all true. Granted. Good. Let’s say Jesus was actually scared when they came for him, and of course nobody doubts that being crucified would be horrible.
But he knew he’d be back. He knew he’d live forever.
Let’s compare that with countless common soldiers and parents that have chosen endless suffering and torture rather than give up a loved one. How about the numerous protesters who have lit themselves on fire to make a political point? And do you not think that dozens or hundreds of people have been literally been crucified (just like Jesus) because they failed to sell out a friend, a family member, or a lover?
So Jesus is to be revered for all time for performing a task that any good person would do, and millions of good people have already done, all without actually performing a sacrifice since he’s not only still alive but actually immortal. I’m not sure how this stands up to even the smallest amount of scrutiny.
Precisely nothing about this fable makes sense when evaluated rationally. I urge you to do what you would do if hearing this story for the first time as an educated, non-inculcated adult: discard it as an obvious fiction.
- Naturally, this is all based on believing that Jesus was the Son of God, which I don’t.