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Hello, I have a question concerning theology, the Atonement, and the Resurrection. If Jesus’ death was a sacrifice, does the fact that He rose from the dead take away from that sacrifice? What’s the meaning of it? I’ve heard one atheist compare it to giving someone a dollar and then taking it back. Please answer; I feel as though I’m losing faith. Thank you. God bless.
It is fine to doubt and lose faith. I were in your position when I were 15-22. The best part of this period is that we start searching to know why we believe what we believe.
I wrote a lot of atonement of Christ in my blog, if you would like to find them, I have a search box all the way at the bottom.
A simple answer is no. By Jesus rising from the dead, it showed that God affirmed His atonement, and that what Jesus claim to be is true is true. I think your atheist friend failed to understand the notion of atonement as described in both old and new testament. When Jesus died a cruel death(not just physical death, but away from God’s presence of His grace and love, to God’s presence of justices and wrath), He took away the just punishment to which those who He came to save rightly deserve. Resurrection does not cancel the payment but affirms it. You could reply to your atheist friend by asking if she understands what atonement is and how it works in Jesus of Nazareth.
Matthew, the only way to keep what you believe is to know what you believe and why you believe. Take online classes on critical think(introduction to logic), buy a book or two on philosophical foundations of Christianity and systematic theology. Doubt is a gift that enable you to dig deep. I would be glad to help you help yourself. Just let me know what you need.
Although consistently and thoroughly defined in the Scriptures, the meaning of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross is lost forever in Christian theology and tradition.
Christ’s death on the cross, a.k.a., Spirit-active, perfect and transfigurative, is the most fitting vehicle for God’s self-revelation as he really is, i.e., “source of life” of the self-sufficient type and “life-giving Spirit” as initiated at Creation (Gen. 2: 7-9) and repeated for the pioneers of immortality, e.g., Moses in the self-sufficient fire with no need to consume the bush including a promise of an encore for all posterity (Ex. 3: 1-15).
Without the paradigm shift, as defined in the Gospel, Christ’s death on the cross is reduced to idolatry and double standards. (Deut. 12: 29-32)
FOOF FOR THOUGHT
There seems to be an eerie connection between, on the one hand, God’s self-revelation to Moses, as SELF-SUFFICIENT FIRE with no need to consume the bush, including a promise of a curtain call for “all future generations” (Ex. 3: 1-15); and, on the other hand, Christ’s death on the cross, as “SOURCE OF LIFE” with “a loud cry”, fulfilled in the tearing of the curtain in the Temple, and the reported “raising of Jesus to life” synchronized with “many of God’s people who had died” (Matt. 27: 50-53).
Is the connection verifiable or not today? All comments are welcome.
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