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Switch to Forum Live View Something I Struggle With - Know I Shouldn't
7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2011 - 7:56AM #1
arabianhorselover
Posts: 85

For some reason I struggle with God's sacrifice of his son Jesus for us.  I can't help thinking that yes, it was awful to watch what His son went through, but how awful could it have been when God knew that Jesus would rise from the dead and be with Him always?  It wasn't like He was losing Jesus forever.  Not like it is for us when someone dies.


All my life I have heard about this great sacrifice God made for me.  I just can't see it as THAT much of a sacrifice.  I am surprised God hasn't struck me down for having these doubts. 


Is there anyone out there besides me that has ever thought about this?


 


 

God Has Always Been With Me - Even Though I Haven't Realized It.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2011 - 9:00PM #2
Eoconnorntep
Posts: 85

First, God is not going to strike you down for thinking or doing anything God loves us all and desires our good. Do not beat yourself up for having struggled with the idea. 


As Lutheran Christians, we believe in the Trinity. Therefore, I would say that God's sacrifice of his son was a self-sacrifice.


I  don't know how "hard" it was for God to make this sacrifice, either. I suspect it was really hard but I don't think it matters. What does matter for me is that this sacrifice redeemed, is redeeming, and will redeem the world, when nobody else - no power outside of God could have done it.  That's enough for me.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 21, 2011 - 8:01AM #3
arabianhorselover
Posts: 85

You are right.  It doesn't really matter, and I have no right to question it. 


The Trinity is such a hard thing to understand.  If God and Jesus are one, then they both would have felt the pain.  But yet they are separate, so they each would have felt their own type of pain.


 

God Has Always Been With Me - Even Though I Haven't Realized It.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 21, 2011 - 11:10AM #4
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

My Orthodox friends have an analogy of the Trinity as three Persons dancing in a circle, hand in hand, so quickly that it is difficult to discern where one Person ends and the other begins.


I think that's a great picture. And I think that's why we shouldn't trouble ourselves over trying to differentiate the Persons of the Trinity too closely -- assigning specific tasks to each one. For one thing, there's no reason to; we're not saved by thinking the right things about God; you're not getting points off for not getting this right.


I'd also point out that vicarious atonement is only one way to understand Jesus' death. There are several perfectly theologically valid, non-mutually-exclusive ways to understand "Jesus died for my sins." The Christus Victor model has a lot of traction in Lutheran Christianity. If you go to therebelgod.com/cross_intro.shtml, you'll find an Evangelical's comparison of Christus Victor with the penal substitution model, which seems to be your understanding. I think you'll find it comforting to know that you can think of Jesus' death in another way without thinking that you're being heretical or unfaithful.


BTW: There's nothing wrong with questioning theology. That's how theology works -- by asking questions, by weighing ideas, by debating.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 21, 2011 - 2:23PM #5
arabianhorselover
Posts: 85

I think we understand it in the way it was taught to us.

God Has Always Been With Me - Even Though I Haven't Realized It.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 22, 2011 - 12:12PM #6
AFSkypilot49
Posts: 35

Maybe this is adding a fly to the mix.


As I understand it even though Jesus is the son of God, he emptied himself of his divineness when he became man.  Thus, when he is dying on the cross he is not sure what is going to happen next.  That is why he cries out, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?"  The death he experienced was real.  If he had known the rest of the story then he would have only been going though the motions and the death would have been staged--fake. 


The cry, "My God, My God ..." btw is not necessarily a cry of hoplelessness, but it is placing one's total confidence in God in the most dire of situations.  It is actually a song of triumph even at the point of death. 


I have to admit both paragraphs seem contradictory, but isn't that the point of faith?  Living with the contradictions. 

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2011 - 10:06AM #7
arabianhorselover
Posts: 85

Jan 22, 2011 -- 12:12PM, AFSkypilot49 wrote:


Maybe this is adding a fly to the mix.


As I understand it even though Jesus is the son of God, he emptied himself of his divineness when he became man.  Thus, when he is dying on the cross he is not sure what is going to happen next.  That is why he cries out, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?"  The death he experienced was real.  If he had known the rest of the story then he would have only been going though the motions and the death would have been staged--fake. 


The cry, "My God, My God ..." btw is not necessarily a cry of hoplelessness, but it is placing one's total confidence in God in the most dire of situations.  It is actually a song of triumph even at the point of death. 


I have to admit both paragraphs seem contradictory, but isn't that the point of faith?  Living with the contradictions. 





Well, it always did seem strange to me that he said that if he knew what was happening.

God Has Always Been With Me - Even Though I Haven't Realized It.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 6:42PM #8
KnuckleheadForChrist
Posts: 1

Imagine if you had to subject your own child to ridicule, torture, and pain for the benefit of someone else, even though you knew your child would be stronger for it in the end. At least for myself, my heart would ache terribly with both worry and guilt about what I was having my child endure. I've pondered this many times, and I'm not sure that I could actually go through with subjecting someone that I love to that kind of agony and pain for another's benefit.


 

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7 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2011 - 8:19AM #9
arabianhorselover
Posts: 85

I couldn't do it.  However, I'm not sure that God's emotions are the same as our own.  He put a lot of people to death, or otherwise punished them without it seeming to bother Him at all during the Bible days.

God Has Always Been With Me - Even Though I Haven't Realized It.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2011 - 12:04PM #10
teilhard
Posts: 53,304

To "get" Something of The "Feelings" with which "God" (reportedly) Struggles(!!!), see, e.g., "The Book of The Prophet Hosea" ... and Isaiah 65:1ff ...


WE'RE the ones with the PROBLEMS ...

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