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Switch to Forum Live View If Jesus did not die for our sins then what did his death symbolize in your opinion?
7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 7:35PM #1
Starcomet
Posts: 414
I believe that his death symbolizes his great integrity to keep what he believed in and not throw it away. I also believe that he came not to take in our sins, but to teach us about forgiveness, love, sharing, to work together as one, and his views on who God is.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 8:50PM #2
steve220
Posts: 33
This is actually something I've wrestled with a lot.  I tend to oscilate between more and less traditional views of Jesus in general and His death in particular (right now Im leaning toward more traditional).  This is one of my many ways of looking at it. It helps me because it can be viewed purely symbolically or can fit with a more tradtional view, depending on my spirtual mood and

1.  God suffers with us in our trials so the crucifixion is (or symbolizes) a physical expression of the pain God already endures because of the pain we inflict upon each other.  But the opposite is also true.   'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matt 25: 40  I heard a theology professor on NPR say that we should see everyone on the cross because we should see Jesus in everyone.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 8:56PM #3
samhainautumnwood
Posts: 666
Interesting question.

I'm a Pagan.

To me, Jesus' death symbolizes to what end people in power will go to to maintain their power and convince themselves that they're doing the right thing.

You can pretty much plug any human being in the place of the Sanhedrin and end up with the same result.
peace,

samhain autumnwood.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 9:30PM #4
chris_lg
Posts: 358
I don't really see Jesus's death as symbolizing anything. He died because the Roman authorities didn't like what he was saying and he wouldn't recant. He believed in what he was doing and teaching and he was martyered for it. That's not symbolism. That's reality. His story took on its mystical meaning when his followers had a hard time believing a good man could have died such a disgraceful death. He must have been an innocent sacrifice. He became a divine scapegoat when Paul and others put a Greek spin on it. He became the Logos, or Word made flesh, a Greek concept introduced by the Greek educated Paul. In some sense he may have been, but "one substance with the Father, True God of True God, begotten not made" I see no evidence of that in scripture, and no need to believe that to be a follower, especially when I've already rejected the idea of substitutionary atonement.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 10:00PM #5
Starcomet
Posts: 414
Well I do also believe he was just killed by the Romans simply because he was a nuisance but I think what we should learn from it is not that he only died an innocent man, but that he kept what he believed till the end. At least in my opinion. I also do not believe he died for our sins, I just do not see that as being something that Jesus was trying to do. I agree that that belief developed much later on.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 10:01PM #6
Starcomet
Posts: 414
[QUOTE=samhainautumnwood;104167]Interesting question.

I'm a Pagan.

To me, Jesus' death symbolizes to what end people in power will go to to maintain their power and convince themselves that they're doing the right thing.

You can pretty much plug any human being in the place of the Sanhedrin and end up with the same result.[/QUOTE]

Who to you was in power? the romans? Jesus had no real power to me.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 10:31AM #7
Geocorona
Posts: 302
I believe he "died for our sins" in that he died because people are sinful, and are prone to kill whoever inconveniently exposes that fact.

He was also a sacrifice because he courageously maintained course, even though he knew it would mean an early death.

But as you imply, it wasn't some cosmic payoff, where God kills himself to pay himself for a debt he's too stubborn or powerless to forgive.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 10:53AM #8
Jenandew7
Posts: 13,279
I vacillate between several options:

1)  Jesus came to prove to us that we shouldn't spend so much time agonizing over sin, condemning others and spend more time following his commandments to love God and love neighbor.  Therefore he hoped to put an end to sacrifice.  (He is quoted as saying so in one of the Gnostic, Nag Hammadi texts although I can't find the quote again.)  At any rate, it works.

2) It was a no-brainer that he would be killed.  I think it is telling when he says, "O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, the city that murders the prophets . . . "  Supposedly, they had murdered twenty-five prophets from the time of Moses.  For some reason that I can't understand, but I see it in todays pharisees, people hate the message of love.  They will water it down, define it any way but loving, whittle away at the underpinnings of what it is to love and the result of our love.  For example, the acidic and hateful way some have of telling others about their moral sins.  And, I would go so far as to say that if we were less civilized now, I would have been murdered myself for my liberal/progressive beliefs in these past four years (not that I am a prophet!)

3) (MY favorite)  We are all Christ, or Christ abides in all of us--at least those of us who actually follow him and actually try to do what he wanted us to do.  Christ is born in our hearts (the virgin birth), we are persecuted, starved, hated, and crucified (symbolically living out his life)--except that the story in the Gospels is so exceptionally powerful that when we feel like giving up, we find compassion for our sufferings in his greatest of all potential sufferings and his perfect example.  I think the Gospels--more than any preachy treatise on faith ever could--leads us deep into the mystery of faith and the reality of God.  I think that the early Church did know this . . .

4)  The oldest of my theories and simply weird, but a strange coincidence.  I call it the Elvis Effect.  ;)  If you want people to hang on your every word--then die.  And what is particularly interesting about this, is the timing.  The Roman empire was at its height and covered all of the known world, so to speak.  The message could travel to the whole world very quickly and easily. 

Note that none of these actually require the crucifixion. 

Annie
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. --Isaiah 58:10
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 11:07AM #9
chris_lg
Posts: 358
I choose Door # 3!!
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2007 - 11:09AM #10
chris_lg
Posts: 358
Four is good too. I've noticed that effect as well. Some of histories strongest leaders got that way be being dead. They tend to show up more often too. Ever notice?
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