sacrificial death doctrine

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Reader Alban Mosher

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
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> Dear Alban...
>
> You know, Alban, for the first time I think I "get" it. Your simple
> words have brought meaning to this mystery to me. While I always
> simply accepted it and never really mulled it over in my mind, putting
> these few Scriptures together as you have has opened my mind to this
> wonderful gift from God. Thanks, Buddy.
>
>
> --
> Wayne
> mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca
>

Dear Wayne;

The doctrine of redemption is so profound and yet simple in its beauty.
When first encountered the Orthodox doctrine of redemption, it became a
light to me dispersing the darkness of the Western idea of God. Not the
God of mercy of Orthodoxy bu the Western God that is itching to smash us
sinners to pieces.

BTW, there have been some things that you have helped me out in some of
your postings.

In IX XC,
Alban Mosher, Reader

Scott Wilcox

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
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I recently finished reading the book "On Prayer" by Archimandrite Sophrony.
It is wonderful and I recommend it very much. It is also quite relevant to
our discussion of Christ's death for us as a demonstration of His great love
for us. I thought one of the prayers at the end would be fitting to post;

O CHRIST our GOD,
Desire of our hearts,
Diffuse the light of Thy truth over us,
that in thy light, unworthy as we are,
we may behold Thy glory
as of the only-begotten of the Father,
and so be fashioned after Thy searchless image,
in the likeness of which Thou didst create man.

O God our Saviour, light of our minds,
may thy strenght abide in us,
that we may ever be in Thee,
bearing always within us Thy Holy Spirit.

Grant us to know Thy love for mankind,
and make us like unto Thee, our Lord and our God,
as all Thy saints through ages were like unto Thee.

Yea, Lord Jesus Christ,
according to Thine unfailing promise
come and make Thine abode in us,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
from everlasting to everlasting.


Wayne Andres <wayne...@sprint.ca> wrote in message
news:378E8362...@sprint.ca...
> Okay. Here's the problemo. I'm not certain I fully understand the
> Orthodox doctrine regarding Christ's substitutionary death on the Cross.
> Let me approach this question by simply asking some questions:
> 1. Why did the Lord need to die?
> 2. How would the death of a "perfect man/God" satisfy God the Father? It
> sounds as though He is being appeased and I know that can't be the case.
> So...uh...why the shedding of blood? I know Scripture says, "Without the
> shedding of blood there is no remission of sins"...but why not? Why this
> particular way?
>
> --
> Wayne
> mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca
>
>

Peter Terry

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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I have to disagree with you on your interpretation of this particular
piece of scripture,in support that Jesus voluntarily offered himself for
human
sacrifice for the sins of the world. V17 " my father loves me because I am
willing to give up my life...."

We must not forget that the man predicted his own death, not difficult to
do given that he was often threatened and on a number of occasions escaped
from this probability..He knew that at some stage he would die and was
prepared to do so and states this categorically as you have pointed out by
this piece
of scripture.

Yet again I must reiterate that within what you submit as evidence,there is
no inference
that his death is connected to the Christian dogma that he must die so that
everyone else can be saved. All he says here is that he is prepared to die
for his cause,
indeed we all have to die at some point in time.

PeterT


Wilkerson wrote in message <7mn47k$2s...@enews3.newsguy.com>...
>See John 10:17-18
>
>
>Peter Terry wrote in message <93210877...@subsonic.fan.net.au>...
>>
>>Could you please provide gospel evidence that Jesus himself actively
>>volunteered for human sacrifice..There is no question that he predicted
his
>>death, after all the man was a visionary and given that he had been
>>threatened
>> and continually hounded by his accusers, it would not have been difficult
>>to
>>deduce that it were only a question of time before they caught up with
him.
>>
>>PeterT
>>
>>
>
>

Peter Terry

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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Andrew Tsikitas wrote in message <7mnnn1$5qv$3...@newssrv.otenet.gr>...
>Peter, we have the account in the Gospels of Matthew (16:21), Mark (8:31),

and Luke (9:22), which state that Jesus told His disciples that He MUST go
>to Jerusalem to be betrayed, suffer, die, and rise from the dead.
>Humbly yours in Christ,
>-A.N.T.

Look Andrew, this was a prediction of circumstance. He simply
says he would die, must die if you like..I mean the chief priests and
elders had been plotting his death, he had already managed to escape
from stoning, being sacrificed a king. He was not going to leave the country
to
save himself and said that he was prepared to die for his cause..Realising
it
was only a question of time before he was caught, he predicted his impending
death..Nothing in there about having to die for the sake of remission for
the
rest of the world.

PeterT


Peter Terry

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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Reader Alban Mosher wrote in message <378EFCEB...@swbell.net>...
>Wayne Andres wrote:

>
>The reason why our Saviour dies on the cross was because we Adam and Eve
sinned,
>their nature because separated from communion with God and became weakened,
and
>death entered the world. So Death was the enemy of the human race. Our
Saviour, when
>he died on the cross, in our nature entered into death and since death
could hold
>Him who is the author and creator of life, death because swallowed up in
life>Alban
snip
Mosher, Reader
>
>Who said so, did you make this up over breakfast...
Sounds like a bit of mumbojumbo to me, without
scriptural validity.

PeterT

Peter Terry

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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Scott Wilcox wrote in message <378f...@news.together.net>...
>Hello Friends,
>This thread is a great and edifying topic and I appreciate the
>thoughtfulness of all of your input. Peter, for me, the necessity of
>Christ's sacrifice lies in the fact that "death" entered the human race,

Well, I always took it that biological death was a requisite to living
within the human race, be it animal or human. While the Adam and Eve story
pertains to an enlightened humanity falling from grace, there is no evidence
archeologically or anthropologically that such a people ever existed.
Perhaps
this teaching has a meaning other than the one which is traditionally
accepted.

and
>for God to redeem us, we needed to be saved from the power of death. For
God
>to rescue us from that death, He needed to unite us to Himself, therefore
>necessitating taking to himself our humanity that also included "death".

I would dearly love to know when or where this has ever happened within
the history of the human race..I have always taken it that unification with
God is a result of conscious effort, hence reaping the rewards of such
pursuance.

The
>scripture says that Christ came to us in the likeness of sinful man
(death).
>Of course the death he died was in his human nature , not divine as some
>other groups I've come across teach. His willingness to take that upon
>himself for our sakes is amazing to me.

OH OK..After Christ's death, was the world transformed from sin. Did any
obvious event
occur after the death of Christ to show that his alleged sacrifice, made any
difference at all. Life carried on the same thereafter, the Roman Church
rose
up in his name- whose history I would hardly describe as reflecting Christ.

The scripture verse pertaining to
>the shedding of blood is in the O.T. which seems to be a foreshadowing of
>this truth, however inadequate it may seem to us now.

Well my friend, I have always had difficulty with most of the so called holy
players of the OT. Human and animal sacrifice, blood and guts were certainly
part and parcel of what went down as religion in those days..Moses while
decrying for others that "though shall not kill" was himself a merciless
killer. I question the honour and spirituality of a man that felt he needed
to rip babies out of the arms of lamenting mothers and sacrifice them to
appease his God..May I suggest that this scenario you offer as to the
meaning behind Jesus' alleged voluntary sacrifice, is more entertwined with
old testament myth, than it is actually substantiated by Jesus himself.

Please forgive and
>correct any mistakes I may have made in my ramblings above.
>Love in the Risen Christ,
>Symeon


Nothing to forgive, you presented your view extremely clearly.

PeterT

Peter Terry

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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nick cobb wrote in message <378FCEDB...@cris.com>...
>The Sacrificial System in the Old Testament From the earliest times of the
Old
>Testament, sacrifice was practiced. Cain and Abel brought offerings to the
>Lord from the produce of the land and from the first born of the flock
(Gen.
>4). Upon embarking from the ark after the great flood, Noah immediately
built
>an altar and offered burnt sacrifices. These were a soothing aroma to the
Lord
>(Gen. 8). Other Ancient Near Eastern flood stories have parallels to this
act
>by Noah. The patriarchal stories in Genesis 12-50 are filled with instances
of
>sacrifice to God. The most famous is that of Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 22).
>snip


>Indeed, but are we not in the 21st Century.. Why do we need to continue
to subscribe to violent ideology and dogma which best suited ancient people
whom were only slightly above civilised. Was this in itself not the new
Covenant which Jesus
taught, which was to replace the old one from the old testament you refer
to.
I mean- if as taught by the old testament, your wife commits adultery, are
you going to get your neighbours to drag her out onto the street and all
stone her to death..
>
>---Ultimately, there was NO sacrifice or offering man could make to
>re-establish his fallen nature as it once was. No offering could destroy
death
>and return man to his original creation, to live with God forever. For this
>reason, Christ came to voluntarily die,

sorry I am yet to be convinced that he volunteered.

destroy death

It didn't destroy death, we still die.

and rise from the dead
>thus, restoring the vehicle for which mankind could also return to God and
>live with Him.

Dont you know it is impossible for a human being to rise up from the dead.
I happen to believe that the resurrection and ascension are figurative
expressions
which have other meanings, other than the ones which are traditionally
accepted.
There is not one iota of evidence which provides that Christ's death
restored
mans unification with God. Perhaps you should study the history of the
Christian western world over the past 2000 years, it was not that much
different to the preceding 2000 years.

PeterT

Caedmon Parsons

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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Wayne Andres <wayne...@sprint.ca> wrote in message
news:378EACE1...@sprint.ca...
> Scott Wilcox wrote:
>
> > but it seems that the idea of a
> > "substitutionary atonement" is accepted as orthodox as long as one
doesn't
> > subscribe to the idea of God the Father's anger being appeased by
Christ's
> > sacrifice which makes God seem more like us, a slave to our passions,
than
> > Himself .
>
> First, thanks to Nick, Alban and Scott for your posts. I intend to spend
some
> time reading through them. The above sentence still mystifies me because
it
> really doesn't answer the question but seems to skirt it. It makes me
wonder if
> the question can even be answered. What exactly is transpiring in this
sacrifice
> and why is it necessary? I know God is not a God of passions like our
own...and
> that the seriousness of sin requires (for whatever reason) a death. But
why?
> There are so many pagan religions that also followed this idea of
appeasing an
> angry god with a sacrifice (human, animal....blood-letting...WHY?). Oh
> well..I'll read. Don't know why this never bothered me before but it seems
to be
> bothering me now. Thanks.

Try looking at it this way Wayne. When Adam and Eve first sinned human
Nature became seperated from God. Because God is the source of all Being our
separation from Him made us (and through us all creation) subject to death
and corruption. That is, being seperated from the source of being we begin
to return to the nothingness from which God created us in the first place,
we became subject to Death (the complete cessation of Being) and corruption
(the process ceasing to be, of breaking apart).

The whole purpose of Christ's incarnation was to fix what our sin had
broken. Because He was both fully God and fully Man yet exactly One Person,
in His own Person He bridged that seperation between Human Nature and Divine
Nature which Sin had created. But in order to complete that work, He had to
go all the way. He had to go into that ultimate point of dissolution, death
(and it had to be a voluntary because since His humanity was joined to God,
unfallen, it was not subject to death as all of us are). But when His
humanity died, when the person of Jesus Christ died, He was still God, His
humanity was *still* indissolubly joined to His Divinity. So in that act of
dying he brought Death itself into union with His Divinity. "By death has He
trampled down death" because in dying, Christ who is God, who is Absolute
Being, came into contact with the most extreme of our non-being and joined
it to Himself, so that for those who become united to Him death is no longer
death, no longer cessation of Being but simply another place that we are
unified with Him.

This death was a "sacrifice", but it was not a sacrifice to the Father.
After all, Christ is God and how does God sacrificing God appease God? It
was a sacrifice to that which had power over us (death) in order to redeem
us from that power by destroying death. "There is no longer death for those
who are in Christ Jesus" because the non-being of death could not coexist
with the Being of Christ, the one completely drove the other out, and when
we participate in Him, His Being sustains us so that death, non-being,
cannot hold us either.


In Him,
Caedmon

Peter Terry

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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Peter Terry wrote in message <93211227...@subsonic.fan.net.au>...
>

>
>With the greatest respect, Jesus' assassination was not necessary and only
>transpired because he was betrayed by his friends..Up until the crucifixion
> he managed to avoid arrest and took great pains to ensure his freedom.

snip

May I reiterate that there is reasonable evidence within the gospels that
supports the notion that Our Lord was not a voluntary agent to his
crucifixion.
The idea that the man offered himself as a human sacrifice so that we could
be redeemed, is an idea not totally supported by Jesus own actions. He may
be
many things to many people but the man was no fool, and he devoted
his short life to his ministry. ( gave or devoted his life-time so that
others could
learn the great truth, which had so strongly possessed him since a child.)
The man valued his life and took great pains to ensure that he was not
captured
and killed. He was eventually apprehended, only because he was betrayed by
Judas, otherwise he may of escaped crucifiction for a second time.

**John 8:59 They then picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus HID
himself and LEFT the temple.

** John 10:39.. Once more they tried to seize Jesus, but he ESCAPED out
of their hands.

** Matthew 4:12-14, Mark 1:14, John 4:1-3...Now when Jesus had HEARD
that John was cast into prison, he DEPARTED into Galilee..( keeping away
from the heat).

**Matthew 10:23, But when they persecute in this city, FLEE ye into
another..

**Matthew 12:14-16, Mark 3:6-7, Then the Pharisees.....held a council how
they might destroy him...But when Jesus knew it, he WITHDREW himself
thence..that they should NOT make him known..( at the crucifixion after
betrayal,
he did not escape for a second time, this purge by the Pharisees).

**Mark 1:45.. Jesus could no more OPENLY enter the city, but was WITHOUT in
desert places.

** Mark 9:30. And they DEPARTED thence, and passed threw Galilee, and he
would NOT that any man should KNOW of it..( Here was Jesus sneaking around
trying not to be detected).

**John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived they would come and take him by
force, to make him KING, he DEPARTED again into a mountain himself alone..
( to be acclaimed a KING was to be sacrificed under Roman Pagan rule, much
the same as what eventually took place at the historic crucifixion scene.
Jesus
would have no part of it, no voluntary sacrifice in this instance)..

** John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would NOT
walk
in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

** John 7:7-10. Go ye up into this feast: I go NOT up into this feast...But
when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up into the feast, NOT
OPENLY, but as
it were in SECRETE.

** John 11:53-54. Jesus therefore walked NO MORE among the Jews; but
went thence unto a country near to the wilderness..and there continued with
his disciples.

** John 4:44 ...a prophet has no honour in his country.

** Matthew 26:39. In the garden Jesus...prayed saying, o my father if it is
possible let this cup of suffering pass from me. (clearly Jesus did not want
to suffer
or be sacrificed for anyones sake.)

**Matthew 27:46. My God, My God, why has though forsaken me.
(Expressing his humanity and with no intentions of dying, at a weaker moment
Jesus felt betrayed by God...perhaps he had hoped for some kind of devine
intervention.)

I ask, are these the actions of a man desperate to make himself available
to the authorities, so that he could be humanly sacrificed for the sins of
the world.
He knew that a plot had been concocted to take his life and had already
escaped
certain crucifixion once before. Jesus died on the cross at that juncture
because
he was betrayed by his friend Judas. Up until this time he took great pains
to
ensure his security, and in my opinion there is no way that he was a
volunteer
for crucifixion or sacrifice...

with respect,

PeterT


Scott Wilcox

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
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Peter Terry <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote in message
news:93219666...@subsonic.fan.net.au...

>
> Scott Wilcox wrote in message <378f...@news.together.net>...
> >Hello Friends,
> >This thread is a great and edifying topic and I appreciate the
> >thoughtfulness of all of your input. Peter, for me, the necessity of
> >Christ's sacrifice lies in the fact that "death" entered the human race,
>
> Well, I always took it that biological death was a requisite to living
> within the human race, be it animal or human. While the Adam and Eve story
> pertains to an enlightened humanity falling from grace, there is no
evidence
> archeologically or anthropologically that such a people ever existed.
> Perhaps
> this teaching has a meaning other than the one which is traditionally
> accepted.
Peter, I don't argue that biological death is now a requisite, but
the Christain view is that wasn't always like that and indeed "death" is an
enemy to mankind.

>
> and
> >for God to redeem us, we needed to be saved from the power of death. For
> God
> >to rescue us from that death, He needed to unite us to Himself, therefore
> >necessitating taking to himself our humanity that also included "death".
>
> I would dearly love to know when or where this has ever happened within
> the history of the human race..I have always taken it that unification
with
> God is a result of conscious effort, hence reaping the rewards of such
> pursuance.
Again Peter, it is the Christain view that Christ
has done it by taking upon Himself our human nature and raising it
(divinizing,transfiguring,etc) into the Godhead Himself. His death was
simply the result of needing to unite Himself with a fallen human race,
which as you stated, ends in death. True Christian spirituality, though full
of spiritual struggle and works is ultimately based on the finished work of
Christ already completed at the cross when He fully united Himself with us
in our death.

>
> The
> >scripture says that Christ came to us in the likeness of sinful man
> (death).
> >Of course the death he died was in his human nature , not divine as some
> >other groups I've come across teach. His willingness to take that upon
> >himself for our sakes is amazing to me.
>
> OH OK..After Christ's death, was the world transformed from sin. Did any
> obvious event
> occur after the death of Christ to show that his alleged sacrifice, made
any
> difference at all. Life carried on the same thereafter, the Roman Church
> rose
> up in his name- whose history I would hardly describe as reflecting
Christ.

Obviously you are correct in assuming that life
continues, and much of humanity has continued to make the same stupid
mistakes as before, but there are many examples throughout history of those
Saints whose lives did reflect the image of God, and indeed followed in His
footsteps ultimately meeting a biological death as Christ did, in hope of
attaining a share in His Resurrection. It is very tragic that more(including
myself) have not followed more closely after His ways, but if you take the
time to look, I'm sure you'll see that many did.


>
> The scripture verse pertaining to
> >the shedding of blood is in the O.T. which seems to be a foreshadowing of
> >this truth, however inadequate it may seem to us now.
>
> Well my friend, I have always had difficulty with most of the so called
holy
> players of the OT. Human and animal sacrifice, blood and guts were
certainly
> part and parcel of what went down as religion in those days..Moses while
> decrying for others that "though shall not kill" was himself a merciless
> killer. I question the honour and spirituality of a man that felt he
needed
> to rip babies out of the arms of lamenting mothers and sacrifice them to
> appease his God..May I suggest that this scenario you offer as to the
> meaning behind Jesus' alleged voluntary sacrifice, is more entertwined
with
> old testament myth, than it is actually substantiated by Jesus himself.
>

Peter, if you follow the discussion in this thread, I think you'll
clearly get the idea that the idea of and angry, vengeful, punishing God is
what we are all saying is "NOT" the Orthodox teaching on the matter, but a
distortion instead. Clearly the history of mankind is full of barbarous acts
and distortions of what is right. That is indeed part of what the
theological ramifications of "death" are all about, our distortion of who
God is because of our separation from Him. And Christian teaching is amazing
in that it shows that God is willing to bear the results of it all in
Himself, as a means of re-connecting His life to us. Be careful not to
always associate the word sacrifice with the "appeasing of anger", rather
the willingness to "sacrifice" what you have for the good of another. Just
imagine the truth that Christ now has a human nature/body that prior to the
incarnation He did not. He has forever united Himself to humanity, while we
were yet alien to Him and His Love. Does that sound like a Loving Creator to
you? Your questions seem to indicate to me that your not sure that Christ
really is God, correct?

Yojimbo

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
to
In article <93219138...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
>
> I have to disagree with you on your interpretation of this particular
> piece of scripture,in support that Jesus voluntarily offered himself
for
> human
> sacrifice for the sins of the world. V17 " my father loves me because
I am
> willing to give up my life...."
>
> We must not forget that the man predicted his own death, not
difficult to
> do given that he was often threatened and on a number of occasions
escaped
> from this probability..He knew that at some stage he would die and was
> prepared to do so and states this categorically as you have pointed
out by
> this piece
> of scripture.

Well, first Peter, let's separate the question.

"Could you please provide gospel evidence that Jesus himself actively
volunteered for human sacrifice.."

v. 18 shows the voluntary nature in that he was following divine
command contrary to human desire:

"No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have
power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have
received this command from my Father."

Remember, we believe that Jesus was both human and divine. His human
nature cannot be denied. Did He wish to be sacrificed on the cross, a
most painful and cruel death? No, but it was his Father's desire:

Lk 22:42 "Father, if You are willing , remove this cup from me; yet,
not My will, but Yours be done.."

Thus subsuming His human desire to divine command He made His gift
exceedingly perfect.

>
> Yet again I must reiterate that within what you submit as
evidence,there is
> no inference
> that his death is connected to the Christian dogma that he must die
so that

> everyone else can be saved. All he says here is that he is prepared
to die


> for his cause,
> indeed we all have to die at some point in time.

So, the question: "What was it for?"

Lk 24:46-7 "and [Jesus] said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the
Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and
that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in His Name
to all nations beginning with Jerusalem."

This was also told to Nicodemus:

Jn 3:14 "And just as Moses lifted up the serpent [f.Num 21:9] in the
wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up*, that whoever believes
in Him may have eternal life."

*A reference to crucifixion. Indeed, Orthodox Bishops and Abbots
travel with a staff adorned with two serpents as described in Numbers.

Again Jesus states this later in John:

Jn 17:1-2 "After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven
and said, "Father the hour has come; glorify Your Son so the Son may
glorify you, since You have given Him authority over all people, to
give eternal life all whom you have given Him."

It's important to note, Peter, that the Eastern Church does not
recognize the concept of Original Sin as first expostulated by
Augustine of Hippo. That is, we don't believe that humans are born with
the stain of Adam's sin congenitally.

We live with consequence of his error, expulsion from the Garden of
Eden and death and disease. His sacrificial act defeated death, as
death could not contain one untouched by sin, but it served another
purpose as well

It was also a positive act on the part of a loving God who wished to
free us from the curse of death, and it serves as an example of God's
love for us:

Jn 15:12-4
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved
you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for
one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you."

Best Regards,
Derek Copold

> Wilkerson wrote in message <7mn47k$2s...@enews3.newsguy.com>...
> >See John 10:17-18
> >
> >

> >Peter Terry wrote in message

<93210877...@subsonic.fan.net.au>...
> >>
> >>Could you please provide gospel evidence that Jesus himself actively
> >>volunteered for human sacrifice..There is no question that he
predicted
> his
> >>death, after all the man was a visionary and given that he had been
> >>threatened
> >> and continually hounded by his accusers, it would not have been
difficult
> >>to
> >>deduce that it were only a question of time before they caught up
with
> him.
> >>
> >>PeterT
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
>
>


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Yojimbo

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
to
In article <7mput6$10i$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>,
"Caedmon Parsons" <caed...@mindspring.com> wrote:
[...]

> After all, Christ is God and how does God sacrificing God appease
God? It
> was a sacrifice to that which had power over us (death) in order to
redeem
> us from that power by destroying death. "There is no longer death for
those
> who are in Christ Jesus" because the non-being of death could not
coexist
> with the Being of Christ, the one completely drove the other out, and
when
> we participate in Him, His Being sustains us so that death, non-being,
> cannot hold us either.
>

Great Answer, Caedmon!

Derek Copold

Yojimbo

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
to
In article <93221919...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,
"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
[...snipping the verses to save bandwith...]

I appreciate your inquiry into the historical actions of Jesus Christ
on earth, but you must understand that we take the accounts as being
true, and when they state that Jesus went up to his death on Golgatha
voluntarily, we believe it. Now to move on to the specific point:

> I ask, are these the actions of a man desperate to make himself
> available to the authorities, so that he could be humanly sacrificed

> for the sins of the world.

One must remember that Jesus had more of a mission than just Golgatha.
He had to lead a life as other men, and He had to teach by example.
Were he to be caught by the authorities before his time, then there
would be an abortive earthly mission.

He couldn't have taught his apostolic successors the knowledge, both
learned and experienced, that they needed to bear witness to his
mission, sacrifice and resurrection. For that he needed time.

He also intended, as is shown, to have his death on the cross free
humanity from death. That is have death pass us over. That means a
very specific time: Passover. None of these other times fit that
requirement.

> He knew that a plot had been concocted to take his life and had
> already escaped certain crucifixion once before. Jesus died on the
> cross at that juncture because he was betrayed by his friend Judas.
> Up until this time he took great pains to ensure his security, and in
> my opinion there is no way that he was a volunteer for crucifixion or
> sacrifice...

Well, if He were on the lam, so to speak, would he go to Jerusalem
where not only the Roman authorities were, but the Priests of the
Temple with their own police forces as well as Herod Agrippa and his
forces? Would he go into the Temple everyday and preach and teach, and
even disrupt the unsavory business of the merchants?

If I were to assume the "historical" standards that you are using, I
would have to say that Jesus went into Jerusalem either for
confrontation and to do as he said he would:

Face death and rise again on the third day.

Yojimbo

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Jul 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/17/99
to
In article <93211227...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,
"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
[...]

> . But why?
> >There are so many pagan religions that also followed this idea of
appeasing
> an
> >angry god with a sacrifice (human, animal....blood-letting...WHY?).
Oh
> >well..I'll read. Don't know why this never bothered me before but it
seems
> to be
> >bothering me now. Thanks.
> >
> Human sacrifice and the idea that great leaders had to be sacrificed
>for the
> salvation of their followers, is a theological overlay from pre-
>Christ
> pagan
> religions,( Egyptian ,Mithriac, Babylonian, Greek etc.. etc..), that
>found
> their
> way into Christian theology via the advent of the Roman Church around
> 300AD.

I'm not aware of any Egyption deity sacrificing himself for men's
salvation. Babylonian or Greek either for that matter. Mithras never
sacrificed himself.

As to Church theology about Christ's sacrifice, it was well grounded by
St. Paul, and reiterated by both St. Ignatius and St. Clement of Rome
in the First Century.

> There is an exert in John where Jesus realising that he was going to
be
> apprehended and sacrificed like a pagan king,actually runs away and
hides
> in the mountains..John6:15 "When Jesus therefore perceived they would
come
> and take him by force, to make him a KING, he departed into a
mountain
> himself alone."

> ( This exert is rather critical, to be acclaimed a KING is
> to be
> sacrificed under pagan/Roman rule, and clearly Jesus refused to have
> any
> part of it....

I think that's a Druidic rite. At any rate, Jesus was turning an
earthly kingdom when he forsook the people's offer. It was a rejection
of the popular concept of a bar-Kochba character who would lead a war
against the Romans.

>it was not till Judas actually betrays him, that he was
> finally sacrificed
> like a pagan king, not voluntarily but by force...It is also
interesting to
> note that
> under questioning by Pilot, Pilot ensured that he had in his
possession what
> he thought to was King,( great ruler),hence the sign above the cross
which
> signified a state sacrifice,Jesus King of the Jews.)

The Romans preferred to march captured kings back to Rome for
entertainment in their triumphs. This was intended by Pilate as a joke
at both Jesus' expense and the Priests who had been badgering him.
Remember, Passover was a particularly pensive time for the Roman
occupiers.

Notice that the sign was in Greek, Latin and Hebrew and that the
priests were extremely upset by this?

In Hebrew the statement is

"Y'shua Ha'Natzri Vemelech Ha'Yehudim" or in letters

In the anagram as it appeared:

INRI (Latin)
INBI (Greek)
YHVH

Notice the last one. The Divine Name.

Before in the temple Jesus had stated render unto Ceasar what is
Ceasar's and render unto God what is God's.

The priests told Pilate that Jesus was not their king, but that they
only recognised Ceasar. When they saw the sign, they saw His words
from before coming back at them.

That's the point of the sign.

Best Regards,
Derek Copold

Yojimbo

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Jul 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/18/99
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In article <93219798...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
[...]
> Dont you know it is impossible for a human being to rise up from the
> dead.

Peter, either you except and believe in the tenets of the faith or you
don't. Yes, resurrection defies all human knowledge and reason, as it
should. That's why it's a faith. You either believe it or you don't.

We can't give you a scientific formula or videotape evidence to prove
it. You either believe or you don't. If you don't, we can't judge you
or your reasons for not believing, but if you're going to discuss
religion with us, you need to understand that we accept His voluntary
death upon the cross and resurrection as very real facts no matter how
illogical they may seem to you.

(Yes, there are other sects that will condemn you to hell for your
expressions, but the view that I and other Orthodox hold is that it is
not in our power to condemn you or to judge you in matters of the soul.)

> I happen to believe that the resurrection and ascension are figurative
> expressions
> which have other meanings, other than the ones which are traditionally
> accepted.
> There is not one iota of evidence which provides that Christ's death
> restored
> mans unification with God. Perhaps you should study the history of the
> Christian western world over the past 2000 years, it was not that much
> different to the preceding 2000 years.

Actually, Dr. Rodney Stark, a historical sociologist, did work in this
region and there is significant improvement in cultures that forsook
paganism for Christianity.

To be sure, there is a lot of awful history that has occured in the
1700 years Christianity has had influence, but if you look at the
systems it replaced, it was a significant improvement.

Yojimbo

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Jul 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/18/99
to
In article <93219304...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

Peter, unlike Western Christians, we don't rely solely on scripture.
Yes, the Canon is important, but the Holy Tradition of the Church is of
equal value to us. Remember the Canon was assembled by the Church
using Tradition as well.

Peter Terry

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
to

Yojimbo wrote in message <7mr40g$lnt$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>In article <93221919...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

> "Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
>[...snipping the verses to save bandwith...]
>
>I appreciate your inquiry into the historical actions of Jesus Christ
>on earth, but you must understand that we take the accounts as being
>true, and when they state that Jesus went up to his death on Golgatha
>voluntarily, we believe it. Now to move on to the specific point:
>
Before you move onto the next point you need to be corrected on
the first. It should be understood that the development of doctrine
says that Jesus went to Golgatha with a view of voluntary euthanasia,
not the account within the gospels..This is the central point of my post.
You can not show me conclusively, where Jesus volunteered for
human sacrifice for the sins of the world--because he didn't.. I just
happen to believe scripture on this point, rather than Church dogma..


>> I ask, are these the actions of a man desperate to make himself
>> available to the authorities, so that he could be humanly sacrificed
>> for the sins of the world.
>
>One must remember that Jesus had more of a mission than just Golgatha.
>He had to lead a life as other men, and He had to teach by example.
>Were he to be caught by the authorities before his time, then there
>would be an abortive earthly mission.
>

Come on Derek this is a stab in the dark. We would all have been better
served had Jesus lived to a ripe old age, but he didn't, he died fairly
young
and probably without completing his mission. Given the confusion
and inaccuracy within many accounts in the New Testament, it would of
been far better had the Lord not died at such a young age. His life ended
when
it did, only because he was betrayed by his friend and apostle Judas.
Remember Jesus on a previous occasion, had attended a feast- probably a
Passover- where he went in secrete.. John 7:7-10, but on this occasion he
was set
up by his mates and his identity was specifically pointed out to the
authorities
by Judas..its in the NT mate.


>He also intended, as is shown, to have his death on the cross free
>humanity from death. That is have death pass us over. That means a
>very specific time: Passover. None of these other times fit that
>requirement
>

Oh really, would you mind showing me where he made such a statement,
or are you just quoting church dogma, that was formulated hundreds of years
after the event in question. Incidentally when and where did his death free
humanity and more importantly where does the man in question
state this purpose.


>Well, if He were on the lam, so to speak, would he go to Jerusalem
>where not only the Roman authorities were, but the Priests of the
>Temple with their own police forces as well as Herod Agrippa and his
>forces? Would he go into the Temple everyday and preach and teach, and
>even disrupt the unsavory business of the merchants?
>

The man was no coward and had stated categorically that he was prepared
to even die for his cause, if he had to. You may ask, why did Jesus go
anywhere
for that matter- with a death sentence hanging over his head..That facts
did not
deter him and as I have shown on a number of occasions, he escaped arrest
and certain death. However his mission continued, till he was set up by
Judas and
the high priests- he was very aware of the threat made to him by the high
priests.


>If I were to assume the "historical" standards that you are using, I
>would have to say that Jesus went into Jerusalem either for
>confrontation and to do as he said he would:
>

Lets face it the man was a theological provocateur and more importantly was
prepared to place his life in jeopardy on number of occasions. May I
suggest
that his itinerary and visit to Jerusalem was known by Judas - he was
conned.


>Face death and rise again on the third day.
>

>He had no fear of death in that he had conquered his freedom, in that he
was a self realised being,* fear not those who can kill the body but not the
spirit*.
When he said to his apostles that he would rise in 3 days, this did not mean
a
physical awakening from the dead, not to mention a physical ascension into
the
clouds- to somewhere. After all, even Paul taught that the body can not
inherit the spirit world and Jesus himself said, John 6:63 "It is the spirit
that quickeneth, the flesh
profits nothing".. We differ here on scriptural interpretation of the 3 day
resurrection scenario...To me its more of a question of spiritual
reincarnation, rather than a grandiose Mithriac type physical resurrection
and ascension into heaven..

with respect,

PeterT


Peter Terry

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
to

Yojimbo wrote in message <7mrmja$qss$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>In article <93219304...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

>
>Peter, unlike Western Christians, we don't rely solely on scripture.
>Yes, the Canon is important, but the Holy Tradition of the Church is of
>equal value to us. Remember the Canon was assembled by the Church
>using Tradition as well.
>
>Best Regards,
>Derek Copold
>

>I do realise this to be a factor Derek. So what you
are saying is that Christ taught one thing in the
scripture and the Church teaches another, as handed
down threw its traditions. How do you reconcile the reality
of following Jesus-- or is it like Roman Catholicism, where
Christ is simply used as an object of worship, so as to enforce
credence and acceptability for the church????
I agree with one thing, the Canon was assembled by the Roman
Church using tradition..My question has always been-- whose
tradition, that of the Christ or of those whom assumed sole agency
over the mans memory, some 300 years after the event. I.E.
Greco- Roman tradition??????

PeterT


Scott Wilcox

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
to
Dear Peter,
It seems to me that your accusations leveled against certain people your
trying to discuss this issue with in this group, are coming from several
theological assumptions you already have. To try and say that you are just
letting "scripture" speak for itself is somewhat naive. While you insist
that the teachings presented here are "dogmas" created by the Church, where
do your conclusions come from? How did you arrive at them? And why do you
feel the need to argue them? Many protestants who claim "Sola Scriptura"
don't at all reach your proposed conclusions, although you may say that they
are still "corrupted by the "Dogmas" of the past. Why is it that these
things are so clear to you? Has God especially gifted you to clear this all
up for us? I don't get the feeling that your really interested in "dialogue"
here. Could you clarify yourself? I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I'm just
trying to understand where your coming from. By the way, you never reponded
to several of my comments posed to you regarding the necessity of God, if
indeed Jesus Christ was God, to bear in Himself our "falleness" if He were
to unite Himself with us. And also the view of "Sacrifice" as the nescessary
giving up what is necessary for the good of another. In other words, loving
someone so much as to even give your life for them.
Scott Symeon

Peter Terry <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote in message
news:93219798...@subsonic.fan.net.au...
> Dont you know it is impossible for a human being to rise up from the dead.
> I happen to believe that the resurrection and ascension are figurative
> expressions
> which have other meanings, other than the ones which are traditionally
> accepted.
> There is not one iota of evidence which provides that Christ's death
> restored
> mans unification with God. Perhaps you should study the history of the
> Christian western world over the past 2000 years, it was not that much
> different to the preceding 2000 years.
>
> PeterT
>
>
>
>
>
>

Yojimbo

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
to
In article <93238943...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
>
> Yojimbo wrote in message <7mrmja$qss$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >In article <93219304...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,
>
> >
> >Peter, unlike Western Christians, we don't rely solely on scripture.
> >Yes, the Canon is important, but the Holy Tradition of the Church is
of
> >equal value to us. Remember the Canon was assembled by the Church
> >using Tradition as well.
> >
> >Best Regards,
> >Derek Copold
> >
> >I do realise this to be a factor Derek. So what you
> are saying is that Christ taught one thing in the
> scripture and the Church teaches another, as handed
> down threw its traditions. How do you reconcile the reality
> of following Jesus-- or is it like Roman Catholicism, where
> Christ is simply used as an object of worship, so as to enforce
> credence and acceptability for the church????

Not at all. The problem with the Scripture is that it is a relatively
compressed document and not everything that occured within Jesus' time
on earth is recorded therein as per the statement by John at the end of
his Gospel.

There are also the teachings of the Apostles for running the Church that
have been handed down as well.

In addition, one must make decisions according to situations, and for
the interpretation of the scripture and Christ's will we must turn to
the Church He founded and guides through the Holy Spirit.

We can't allow ourselves to become captive to the letter of the
Scripture at the expense of the spirit. This is a problem that many of
the sola scriptura Protestant churches have.


> I agree with one thing, the Canon was assembled by the Roman
> Church using tradition..My question has always been-- whose
> tradition, that of the Christ or of those whom assumed sole agency
> over the mans memory, some 300 years after the event. I.E.
> Greco- Roman tradition??????


First of all, before 300 the Church was not exclusively Roman, and most
of the Church writings were Greek, so terming it the "Roman Church" is
rather erroneous.

Was the tradition preserved and explained in a Greco-Roman environment?
Yes.

Was it consistent with the pagan ethic of the Empire? No.

It was seen as a dire threat by both pagans and Jews as a threat to
their established order, and thus the suppressions.

When Constantine took power in 312, Christianity could only claim about
10% of the Empire's population, and both paganism and Judaism struggled
against it until the 5th century. The last gasp of power being the
reign of Julian the Apostate.

The tradition was founded by Christ and continued in opposition to the
Greco-Roman environment within which it was born.

evagr...@my-deja.com

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
to
Mr. Copold,
Your observation is partially correct.
The tradition founded by our Lord was both in opposition to and in
support of of the pagan tradition.
The tradition of Greek philosophy was utilized by the Church for its
theological self-articulation.
Some pagan traditions became baptized and part of Christian tradition.
The balance between acceptance and rejection of non-Christian beliefs
and traditions is alway delicate.
The Church has steered a middle course, preserving the best, rejecting
the worst.


In article <7mvimq$70$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Kevin Bullard

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
to
Not to mention good, old, solid Unification Church theology...
the Kevinator

Peter Terry wrote:

> ...there is reasonable evidence within the gospels that


> supports the notion that Our Lord was not a voluntary agent to his
> crucifixion.
> The idea that the man offered himself as a human sacrifice so that we could
> be redeemed, is an idea not totally supported by Jesus own actions. He may
> be many things to many people but the man was no fool, and he devoted
> his short life to his ministry. ( gave or devoted his life-time so that
> others could
> learn the great truth, which had so strongly possessed him since a child.)
> The man valued his life and took great pains to ensure that he was not
> captured
> and killed. He was eventually apprehended, only because he was betrayed by
> Judas, otherwise he may of escaped crucifiction for a second time.
>

> with respect,
>
> PeterT

Yojimbo

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Jul 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/20/99
to
In article <7mvnjf$2ck$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

evagr...@my-deja.com wrote:
> Mr. Copold,
> Your observation is partially correct.
> The tradition founded by our Lord was both in opposition to and in
> support of of the pagan tradition.
> The tradition of Greek philosophy was utilized by the Church for its
> theological self-articulation.

Yes, this is correct, but Platonic and Aristotelian philosophical
conceptions of the universe and the uncaused cause are a completely
different matter than paganism itself which is what Peter what implying
in his post.

> Some pagan traditions became baptized and part of Christian tradition.
> The balance between acceptance and rejection of non-Christian beliefs
> and traditions is alway delicate.
> The Church has steered a middle course, preserving the best, rejecting
> the worst.

I agree with that. The Romans did have a winter festival that involved
giving gifts to one another. The solstice by their reckoning was on
the 25th of December. (Despite the recent hoopla, Christmas did not
come from date of Mithras' emergence whole from a rock, though it did
coincide with the solstice.) A lot of skeptics toss the date of
Christmas around expecting us to melt when they reveal it had a pagan
origin.

My answer to which is, "Who cares?" Not only did we beat the pagans
but we took their holidays and gave them new and better meanings at it.

Yojimbo

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Jul 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/20/99
to
In article <93238863...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
>
> Yojimbo wrote in message <7mr40g$lnt$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >In article <93221919...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,

> > "Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
> >[...snipping the verses to save bandwith...]
> >
> >I appreciate your inquiry into the historical actions of Jesus Christ
> >on earth, but you must understand that we take the accounts as being
> >true, and when they state that Jesus went up to his death on Golgatha
> >voluntarily, we believe it. Now to move on to the specific point:
> >
> Before you move onto the next point you need to be corrected on
> the first. It should be understood that the development of doctrine
> says that Jesus went to Golgatha with a view of voluntary euthanasia,
> not the account within the gospels..This is the central point of my
> post.

Well, I'm afraid you've termed it in a rather confusing manner.
Euthanasia is a means of ending one's suffering. Jesus, in our view,
suffered death to end our curse of death. That would be sacrifice.

> You can not show me conclusively, where Jesus volunteered for
> human sacrifice for the sins of the world--because he didn't.. I just
> happen to believe scripture on this point, rather than Church dogma..

Peter, I've already shown in 10:18 that the act was, according to the
*scripture* voluntary, as He had it in his power not to die.

"No one takes it from me, but i lay it down of my own accord. I have
the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again."

Next, the Orthodox position is that his death and resurrection was not
solely to die for our sins, but to lift the curse of death:

Jn 3:14-5
"And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the Wilderness, so must the
Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal
life."

But there is indeed forgiveness for sins from His great sacrifice:

Mt 26:28 "...for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out
for many for the forgiveness of sins." Mk 14:22, Lk 22:20

> >> I ask, are these the actions of a man desperate to make himself
> >> available to the authorities, so that he could be humanly
sacrificed
> >> for the sins of the world.
> >
> >One must remember that Jesus had more of a mission than just
Golgatha.
> >He had to lead a life as other men, and He had to teach by example.
> >Were he to be caught by the authorities before his time, then there
> >would be an abortive earthly mission.
> >
> Come on Derek this is a stab in the dark. We would all have been
> better served had Jesus lived to a ripe old age, but he didn't, he
> died fairly young and probably without completing his mission. Given
> the confusion and inaccuracy within many accounts in the New
> Testament,

See, now you're beginning to pick and choose with the Gospel accounts.
They are very definite about Jesus intention to face death in Jerusalem
on a specific Passover night. Before that time He worked and built up
an Apostolic organization centered on the 12 Disciples and seventy
other as well.

If you don't believe the Gospels, say so. However, you challenged us
to show you the statements in the scripture, and we have done so. You
need to deal with those arguments as they stand.

> it would of
> been far better had the Lord not died at such a young age. His life
ended
> when
> it did,

That's your opinion, Peter. Every one of the Gospels attests to His
resurrection. That's Scripture.

> only because he was betrayed by his friend and apostle Judas.
> Remember Jesus on a previous occasion, had attended a feast- probably
a
> Passover- where he went in secrete.. John 7:7-10, but on this
occasion he
> was set
> up by his mates and his identity was specifically pointed out to the
> authorities
> by Judas..its in the NT mate.

I know. The earlier Johanine Passover occured before he had
established His ministry.

> >He also intended, as is shown, to have his death on the cross free
> >humanity from death. That is have death pass us over. That means a
> >very specific time: Passover. None of these other times fit that
> >requirement
> >
> Oh really, would you mind showing me where he made such a statement,
> or are you just quoting church dogma, that was formulated hundreds of
years
> after the event in question. Incidentally when and where did his
death free
> humanity and more importantly where does the man in question
> state this purpose.

I've given you verses to this question. I assume you're familiar with
the rituals and meaning of the Jewish Passover. If not, I can
familiarize you with their basics.

>
> >Well, if He were on the lam, so to speak, would he go to Jerusalem
> >where not only the Roman authorities were, but the Priests of the
> >Temple with their own police forces as well as Herod Agrippa and his
> >forces? Would he go into the Temple everyday and preach and teach,
and
> >even disrupt the unsavory business of the merchants?
> >
> The man was no coward and had stated categorically that he was
prepared
> to even die for his cause, if he had to. You may ask, why did Jesus go
> anywhere
> for that matter- with a death sentence hanging over his head..That
facts
> did not
> deter him and as I have shown on a number of occasions, he escaped
arrest
> and certain death. However his mission continued, till he was set up
by
> Judas and
> the high priests- he was very aware of the threat made to him by the
high
> priests.

Alright, Peter. For the sake of argument, I'll grant you a philosophic
dispensation. Let's say that Jesus was the historical simple mortal
you claim him to be, though endowed with extra-ordinary gifts. (Indeed
to be the world's most pivotal figure at 33 would make him God in my
view alone.)

If you wanted to protest the human condition. The oppression of the
Romans, the decadance of the Greeks and cupidity of the High Priests
what would be the best statement?

Start a war like bar-Kochba and get creamed by the Roman Legions, or
through a nonviolent submission to the authorities by means of civil
and religious disobediance act as the supreme example of suffering
injustice. (Something prefigured by the Maccabean martyrs) After all,
Gandhi followed this route extremely effectively, and, indeed, used the
teachings of Jesus as a guide.

I'd submit that even by skeptical historical standards, his voluntary,
indeed, challenging manner of accepting human injustice is not beyond
credibility, though it is extremely remarkable, particularly for that
time. But then again, what other figure generates so much argument
after 2,000 years?


>
> >If I were to assume the "historical" standards that you are using, I
> >would have to say that Jesus went into Jerusalem either for
> >confrontation and to do as he said he would:
> >
> Lets face it the man was a theological provocateur

Agreed.

> and more importantly was
> prepared to place his life in jeopardy on number of occasions. May I
> suggest
> that his itinerary and visit to Jerusalem was known by Judas - he was
> conned.

Do you have a scriptural basis for this "con job?"


> >Face death and rise again on the third day.
> >
> >He had no fear of death in that he had conquered his freedom, in
that he
> was a self realised being,* fear not those who can kill the body but
not the
> spirit*.

This saying was realised by his resurrection as proof positive that the
ruler of this world has no power over Him.

> When he said to his apostles that he would rise in 3 days, this did
> not mean a physical awakening from the dead, not to mention a
> physical ascension into the clouds- to somewhere. After all, even
> Paul taught that the body can not inherit the spirit world and Jesus
> himself said, John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh
> profits nothing"..

The word "flesh" has something of a greater meaning in the Greek. It
refers to the material. His intention is that the material world is
subject to the rules of the Spirit.

However, if you look a little earlier in that same chapter you will see
that Jesus views his flesh somewhat differently than your
interpretation:

6:58 "This is the bread [His flesh] that came down from heaven, not
like the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your
ancestors ate, and died. But the one who eats this bread will live
forever."

> We differ here on scriptural interpretation of the 3 day
> resurrection scenario...

I would say that the scripture differs rather severely with you as well.

> To me its more of a question of spiritual
> reincarnation, rather than a grandiose Mithriac type physical
> resurrection and ascension into heaven..

So you're proposing a Vedic reincarnation?

If so there's not much archeaology or textual reference to back up your
interpretation.

If you're proposing a Platonic transmigration of the soul, that was
rejected by the Church rather early (St. Iraneaus, Adv. Her.), and
isn't present in the Scripture.

The resurrection in question was well established in Judaism by the
Christ arrived on Earth. It employed terms found in Zoroastrianism, a
Persian monotheism, but it clearly predated the Roman Mithraism you're
thinking of by centuries.

Peter Terry

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
to

Scott Wilcox wrote in message <3793...@news.together.net>...
>Dear Peter,

To try and say that you are just
>letting "scripture" speak for itself is somewhat naive. While you insist
>that the teachings presented here are "dogmas" created by the Church, where
>do your conclusions come from?

Well, when I measure scripture against established doctrine- I am left
in confusion as to the difference between what Jesus taught, up against what
the church advocates. Often Church dogma is not confirmed by what the man
said..
hence my inquiry as to whether or not, Jesus proclaimed himself to be a
voluntary
agent of his crucifixion for the sins of the world..or our freedom.

How did you arrive at them? And why do you
>feel the need to argue them?

When a news group discusses belief systems regarding Christ and I disagree
on some of the ideas expressed, this triggers in me the need to speak up.
After all,
dont we all pertain to following the virtues and ideals expressed by
Jesus...

Many protestants who claim "Sola Scriptura"
>don't at all reach your proposed conclusions, although you may say that
they
>are still "corrupted by the "Dogmas" of the past. Why is it that these
>things are so clear to you? Has God especially gifted you to clear this all
>up for us?

For me to say that I am impelled by Jesus or God would sound a little corny,
given the Christian history of many sects and individuals claiming
inspiration
from the holy spirit, while implementing decisions that have not benefited
either fellow humans nor Gods plan..

I don't get the feeling that your really interested in "dialogue"
>here.

I listen and I learn, I am sorry that I cant always respond within a
dialogue
that I dont necessarily adhere to in spirit. Does not my challenge aspire
in you the reinforcement or reconsideration of your own beliefs, because
your responses certainly enable me to re-examine the basis by which I
formulate my own conclusions...If you think that I am in here just to cause
trouble, you couldn't be further from the truth.

Could you clarify yourself? I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I'm just
>trying to understand where your coming from.

Well, I am not nor have ever been a voluntary member of any religion
or group, I call it as I see it. I post to many a varied religious NG and I
am often in here because I like the people here. While we may often
differ in the content of our theological vision, surely we all share our
humanity with its ups and downs.

By the way, you never reponded
>to several of my comments posed to you regarding the necessity of God, if
>indeed Jesus Christ was God, to bear in Himself our "falleness" if He were
>to unite Himself with us.

We differ here in the belief that Jesus is supreme God, I tend to view
the man as the son/ agent of God. Are we not potentially all sons and
daughters of God..Did not Jesus say,"Yea are all Gods, what the scripture
says is true and correct".. I tend to celebrate the tenacity of Jesus,
rather
than sharing in the collective guilt, of events thats transpired 2000 years
ago..
While the idea of original sin is reaffirmed by virtue of the fact that each
and
everyone of us has been spiritually born into the genetic-ness of biological
animals, the guilt of this imperfection need not fall on every one of us..I
tend
to feel that we are not sinners, just victims of a greater cause- which we
are yet
to understand/ find meaning for.

And also the view of "Sacrifice" as the nescessary
>giving up what is necessary for the good of another. In other words,
loving

>someone so much as to even give your life for them.

I agree with you absolutely, but surely there is a difference in being
prepared to
loose your life should the occasion arise, as opposed to voluntarily
offering
yourself as a sacrificial victim to someone else's doctrinal agenda.

PeterT

>Scott Symeon


evagr...@my-deja.com

unread,
Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
to
Mr. Copold,
To paraphrase St. Paul, I believe;
Anything good, anything of beauty , is useful for our salvation.
(Don't have the NT on hand).
Too many people dredge up the anti-pagan argument without reflecting
that many, many traditions and customs in the Church are "pagan" in
origin, the Easter egg, for instance and many others.
As you say, quite rightly; "Who cares?"

In article <7n0g94$csh$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Yojimbo

unread,
Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
to
In article <93255575...@subsonic.fan.net.au>,
"Peter Terry" <rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
[...]

> While the idea of original sin is reaffirmed by virtue of the fact
that each
> and
> everyone of us has been spiritually born into the genetic-ness of
biological
> animals, the guilt of this imperfection need not fall on every one of
us..

I'm not too sure, I was clear with you earlier on this subject, Peter.
The Orthodox do not subscribe to inherited guilt. We are accountable
only for our own sins.

>I
> tend
> to feel that we are not sinners, just victims of a greater cause-
> which we
> are yet
> to understand/ find meaning for.

I have to disagree with this. From what you're saying here, you seem to
be asserting that we are simply pawns instead of creatures of free will.
The only reason we are sinners is because we have all sinned. It is for
the personal repentance of those sins we commit that we can turn to
Christ, who has bridged the gap between humanity and divinity, for
forgivness and hope in life eternal.

> And also the view of "Sacrifice" as the nescessary
> >giving up what is necessary for the good of another. In other words,
> loving
>
> >someone so much as to even give your life for them.
>
> I agree with you absolutely, but surely there is a difference in being
> prepared to
> loose your life should the occasion arise, as opposed to voluntarily
> offering
> yourself as a sacrificial victim to someone else's doctrinal agenda.

The problem with this, Peter, is that Jesus explicitly says this is what
He's doing in both predicting His passion, handing down the Last Supper,
and in his discourse with Nicodemus.

The actions which transpired, if you go by the Gospel accounts, were
according to His doctrine.

evagr...@my-deja.com

unread,
Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
to

Mr. Copold,
I think the whole thing is a great mystery, without easy answers.
I was just thinking this; if Jesus knew what the end result would be
i.e; ressurrection and triumph, then where is the free will that He
had? The whole episode would then just be a shell game.
Free will implies making a choice, without inner or external compulsion
and without knowing fully all the consequences.
The human side of Jesus chose freely to die, trusting His Father,
trusting that His Father was not misleading Him.
I don't think He "knew" the full result, but He trusted the Father with
His entire, total Being, all the way to the furthest reaches of death;
total isolation.
He triumphed, through the Love of the Father, in the Spirit.
But it's still a mystery.
That's why we have faith, faith that imitates His faith in the Father.
At any rate, that's my two cents worth.

In article <7n5887$65m$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Yojimbo

unread,
Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
to
In article <7n585s$64r$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
evagr...@my-deja.com wrote:
> Mr. Copold,

I appreciate your impeccable manners, but please feel free to call me
Derek if you wish.

> To paraphrase St. Paul, I believe;
> Anything good, anything of beauty , is useful for our salvation.
> (Don't have the NT on hand).

I believe it was in Romans. It was his advisory to both the Gentile and
Jewish congregants not pester each other over different liturgical
practices, nor to lord their positions over one another.

> Too many people dredge up the anti-pagan argument without reflecting
> that many, many traditions and customs in the Church are "pagan" in
> origin, the Easter egg, for instance and many others.
> As you say, quite rightly; "Who cares?"

The coloured egg is pagan in origin, but we're not alone in utilizing
its meaning of the origin of life. The egg plays an important role in
the Passover Seder, though it was added to the ceremony sometime after
the time of Christ.

Anyone who's seen the intricate artwork on Ukrainian eggs would realize
that it would be a great loss if this tradition were discarded.

My favourite symbolic carryover remains the Christmas tree. A Teutonic
symbol of eternal life, it seemed and was the perfect symbol for the
hope we have in Christ.

Best Regards,
Derek Copold

[...]

Caedmon Parsons

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
to

<evagr...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:7n5ci1$86b$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

>
>
>
>
> Mr. Copold,
> I think the whole thing is a great mystery, without easy answers.
> I was just thinking this; if Jesus knew what the end result would be
> i.e; ressurrection and triumph, then where is the free will that He
> had? The whole episode would then just be a shell game.
> Free will implies making a choice, without inner or external compulsion
> and without knowing fully all the consequences.

Uh, emphatically No. If not knowing the consequences were part of the
definition of free will then that would mean that God Himself did not have
free will. Which would in turn mean that He is not a Person (or rather
Persons) but nothing more than a mechanistic force in the most classical
Newtonian sense.

Indeed, the will is only 'free' in the most absolute sense when accompanied
by Divine Omniscience. This is a lesson totalitarian governments knew well
and which Western governments seem to be getting better at all the time--if
you limit a person's knowledge, then you limit his choices.

And finally, if the Person of Jesus did not know the results of His choices
then the Person of Jesus was not omniscient--and therefore not fully God.
Either that or one must argue that it was possible for His Divine Nature to
know something that His Human Nature did not--in which case one is dividing
the unitary Person of our Lord into seperate persons, a Jesus the God who
knew what was going on and a Jesus the Man who did not (iow, it leads one
into blatant Nestorianism)

All this has, in any case, been thoroughly covered by the Church at the
Sixth Ecumenical Council and in the writings of St. Maximus the Confessor

"Our Lord Jesus Christ must be confessed to be very God and very man, one of
the holy and consubstantial and life-giving Trinity, perfect in Deity and
perfect in humanity, very God and very man, of a reasonable soul and human
body subsisting; consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead and
consubstantial with us as touching his manhood; in all things like unto us,
sin only excepted; begotten of his Father before all ages according to his
Godhead, but in these last days for us men and for our salvation made man of
the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, strictly and properly the Mother of
God according to the flesh; one and the same Christ our Lord the
only-begotten Son of two natures un-confusedly, unchangeably, inseparably
indivisibly to be recognized, the peculiarities of neither nature being lost
by the union but rather the proprieties of each nature being preserved,
concurring in one Person and in one subsistence, not parted or divided into
two persons but one and the same only-begotten Son of God, the Word, our
Lord Jesus Christ, according as the Prophets of old have taught us and as
our Lord Jesus Christ himself hath instructed us, and the Creed of the holy
Fathers hath delivered to us; defining all this we likewise declare that in
him are two natural wills and two natural operations indivisibly,
inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly, according to the teaching of the
holy Fathers. And these two natural wills are not contrary the one to the
other (God forbid!) as the impious heretics assert, but his human will
follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to
his divine and omnipotent will. For it was right that the flesh should be
moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.
For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the
natural will of his flesh is called and is the proper will of God the Word,
as he himself says: "I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own
will but the will of the Father which sent me!" where he calls his own will
the will of his flesh, inasmuch as his flesh was also his own. For as his
most holy and immaculate animated flesh was not destroyed because it was
deified but continued in its own state and nature, so also his human will,
although deified, was not suppressed, but was rather preserved according to
the saying of Gregory Theologus: "His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not
contrary to God but altogether deified." (from the definition of Faith of
the Fifth Ecumenical Council)


> The human side of Jesus chose freely to die, trusting His Father,
> trusting that His Father was not misleading Him.

I think this is probably the point where your getting off track. The human
will of Christ chose freely to die not because of trust in the Father, but
because it was 'deified'--that is, it was indivisibly, inconvertibly,
inseperably, inconfusedly bound to and subitted to the Divine Will of the
Logos. Fully submitted to God (I suppose, 'trusting in God' although that
seems an unneccesary personification of a single part of Christ the Person)
the issue of what He knew becomes irrelevant, because He knew the Will of
the Father (which is One with the Will of the Son) and did it.


In Him,
Caedmon


evagr...@my-deja.com

unread,
Jul 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/22/99
to
Mr. Parsons,

I knew I I was threading on delicate confusing ground. I knew about the
Maximinian description and the "two wills" etc; but this was not my
point and I did not consider it at the time of writing.
You are absolutely correct.
However, what I meant by free will was more on the aspects of
psychology than epistemology, hence my mention of necessity.
The supposed contradiction between God's omniscience and human free
will doesn't exist, once one understands that God is "outside time".
In fact, thanks for reminding me of this.
My statement would need correction, in that sense.
Deification is non-temporal, so, given that definition, Jesus "knew"
fully the Divine will and the "outcome".
He thus fully and freely accepted His Death.
Sorry, I made a classic error, confusing psychology and metaphysics.
I stand chagrined.
I was trying to emphasize the mystery, from the human viewpoint, mine,
of course.
Thanks again for the reminder.

In article <7n5ij1$5gm$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>,

Yojimbo

unread,
Jul 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/22/99
to
In article <7n5ci1$86b$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
evagr...@my-deja.com wrote:

Caedmon's erudite answer was brilliant and comprehensive, and, as usual,
backed up with documentation. It's a department he never fails in.

However, I'd a like to add a few offhand comments.

> Mr. Copold,
> I think the whole thing is a great mystery, without easy answers.

The answers aren't easy, but that's why we've had centuries of debate
and series of Ecumenical Councils.

I don't mean this as a jab at you because I've asked the same questions,
and lo and behold, so have a lot of other people, too.

> I was just thinking this; if Jesus knew what the end result would be
> i.e; ressurrection and triumph, then where is the free will that He
> had?

From what you're saying you seem to imply that the risk-loss game for
Jesus would be death without resurrection, but the point of risk, if we
can speak of such a thing for God, was not suffering death sans
resurrection, but suffering rejection by men. As God does not control
our free will, by his own dispensation, it is the one area that there is
a risk.

So, knowing our penchant for disobedience, The Son still chose to be
born, live and die as a man, so that he could rise and offer life
eternal to us as well. He did this despite the fact that men can, and
do, reject his gift.

> The whole episode would then just be a shell game.
> Free will implies making a choice, without inner or external
> compulsion
> and without knowing fully all the consequences.

As Caedmon pointed out, free will is dependent on knowing as much as is
possible.

> The human side of Jesus chose freely to die, trusting His Father,
> trusting that His Father was not misleading Him.

Jesus had two natures, Divine and human. By assuming human nature God
the Son willingly exposed himself to the perils of the Prince of this
world: tempation, hunger, loss, and, of course, death. The decision
itself was made with both natures acting in concert.

> I don't think He "knew" the full result,

He predicted the full result when he gave the Jews the sign of Jonah.

> but He trusted the Father
> with His entire, total Being, all the way to the furthest reaches of
> death; total isolation. He triumphed, through the Love of the Father,
> in the Spirit.

True, but with full knowledge.

> But it's still a mystery.
> That's why we have faith, faith that imitates His faith in the Father.
> At any rate, that's my two cents worth.

The full action is a mystery, and that much has been acknowledged by the
Church Fathers. However the fullness of both Christ's divinity and
humanity manifested in God the Son has been established by the Church
Fathers.

Best Regards,
Derek Copold

Wayne Andres

unread,
Jul 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/15/99
to
Scott Wilcox wrote:

> but it seems that the idea of a
> "substitutionary atonement" is accepted as orthodox as long as one doesn't
> subscribe to the idea of God the Father's anger being appeased by Christ's
> sacrifice which makes God seem more like us, a slave to our passions, than
> Himself .

First, thanks to Nick, Alban and Scott for your posts. I intend to spend some
time reading through them. The above sentence still mystifies me because it
really doesn't answer the question but seems to skirt it. It makes me wonder if
the question can even be answered. What exactly is transpiring in this sacrifice
and why is it necessary? I know God is not a God of passions like our own...and

that the seriousness of sin requires (for whatever reason) a death. But why?


There are so many pagan religions that also followed this idea of appeasing an
angry god with a sacrifice (human, animal....blood-letting...WHY?). Oh
well..I'll read. Don't know why this never bothered me before but it seems to be
bothering me now. Thanks.

> --

Wayne
mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca

nick cobb

unread,
Jul 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/15/99
to

Wayne Andres wrote:

> Okay. Here's the problemo. I'm not certain I fully understand the
> Orthodox doctrine regarding Christ's substitutionary death on the Cross.
> Let me approach this question by simply asking some questions:
> 1. Why did the Lord need to die?
> 2. How would the death of a "perfect man/God" satisfy God the Father? It
> sounds as though He is being appeased and I know that can't be the case.
> So...uh...why the shedding of blood? I know Scripture says, "Without the
> shedding of blood there is no remission of sins"...but why not? Why this
> particular way?
>
> --
> Wayne
> mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca

-----------------------------------------------------------------

ATONEMENT (uh tohne' mehnt), meaning reconciliation, was associated with
sacrificial offerings to remove the effects of sin and in the New Testament,
refers specifically to the reconciliation between God and humanity effected
by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Old Testament Primarily in the Old Testament, atonement refers to the
process God established whereby humans could make an offering to God to
restore fellowship with God. Such offerings, including both live and dead
animals, incense, and money, were required to remove the bad effects of
human sin.

The only fast day stipulated in the Mosaic law was the annual day of
Atonement (Yom Kippur), observed on the tenth day of Tishri
(September-October) at the conclusion of ten days of penitence. The day of
Atonement was the only day of the year that the priest entered the holy of
holies to make sin offerings for himself, his family, and the “assembly of
Israel.” After making these offerings, the nation’s sins were symbolically
laid on the scapegoat “Azazel” that was released into the wilderness to die.

While atonement in the Old Testament most frequently refers to humans
offering sacrifices to God for their wrongdoing, several references are made
to God making atonement. In Psalm 78:38, the Hebrew for “atoned for” is used
where the KJV translates “forgave” as is also true in Deuteronomy 21:8.
Because God “atones for” or “covers” human sin, atonement is best understood
as expiation, that is removing the barrier that sin creates rather than
propitiation or appeasing an angry God, though both views of atonement
continue to be taught by Bible students.

New Testament The New Testament rarely uses a word for atonement. The basic
Greek word is katallasso, usually translated “to reconcile,” and the
corresponding noun, katallage, meaning “reconciliation.” The basic meaning
is to establish friendship. This is used in human relationships in 1
Corinthians 7:11, referring to the restoration of relationship between an
estranged husband and wife. Paul used the term in reference to Christ’s work
of salvation in Romans 5:10-11; 11:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. The Greek term
hilaskomai, “to forgive” or “show mercy” along with the nouns hilasmos,
“means of forgiveness,” and hilasterion, “means or place of forgiveness” are
the important words in the discussion of expiation and propitiation. They
occur in Luke 18:13; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 9:5; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.

Atonement and the Cross The focal point of God’s atoning work is Christ’s
death on the cross. Paul wrote that “when we were enemies, we were
reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom. 5:10). These words not only
define the meaning of atonement, they reveal the heart of the gospel as
well.

The primacy of the cross is emphasized throughout the New Testament. At the
beginning of His ministry, Jesus was identified as “the Lamb of God which
taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The purpose of His coming was
“to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). He explained His death in
terms of the “blood of the new testament, which is shed for many” (Mark
14:24).

The relation of the cross to forgiveness of sins was implicit in the
earliest Christian preaching (Acts 2:21; 3:6, 19; 4:13; 5:31; 8:35; 10:43).
Paul proclaimed that “Christ died for our sins”(1 Cor. 15:3), that He was a
“propitiation” (Rom. 3:25 KJV; “sacrifice of atonement,” NRSV, NIV;
“expiation,” RSV), that He became “a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13), and that
those “who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ”
(Eph. 2:13). Furthermore, “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many”
(Heb. 9:28) and has become “a new and living way” (Heb. 10:20) into God’s
presence. He is the one who “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1
Pet. 2:24).

Though atonement is focused in the cross, the New Testament makes clear that
Christ’s death is the climax of His perfect obedience. He “became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). “Though he were a Son,
yet learned he obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). Romans
5:12-19 contrasts Christ’s obedience with Adam’s disobedience. His sinless
obedience qualified Him to be the perfect Sacrifice for sin (Heb. 6:8-10).

Furthermore, the New Testament interprets the cross in light of the
resurrection. “At-one-ment” is the achievement of Christ crucified and
risen. So important is this emphasis that Paul affirms, “and if Christ be
not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).

The Necessity of Atonement The necessity for Christ’s atoning work is
occasioned by the breach in the relationship between the Creator and the
creature. This breach is the result of humanity’s sinful rebellion. “But
your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have
hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:2). Thus, in their
unreconciled state people are God’s “enemies” (Rom. 5:10), have “enmity
against God” (Rom. 8:7), and have “no hope” (Eph. 2:12). There is no
difference between Jew and Gentile in this respect, “for all have sinned and
come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The Origin of Atonement The atonement for sin provided by Christ’s death had
its origin in divine love. No other reason can explain why “God reconciled
us to himself by Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18). The anthem that continuously
peals from the Bible is that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son” (John 3:16; see 1 John 4:9-10). This does not mean that God
loves us because Christ died for us. Rather, Christ died for us because God
loves us. Thus, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Because atonement issues from
love, it is always seen as a divine gift, never as human achievement.

Yet, divine love is not sentimental or merely emotional. It is a righteous
love which blazes out against all that opposes God’s will. The New Testament
affirms that “God is love” (1 John 4:8); it also affirms that “our God is a
consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). Thus, the cross is simultaneously a
manifestation of God’s will to save and of His wrath against sin.

Atonement: Representation and Substitution In His atoning work Christ is
both representative and substitute. As representative, Christ acted on
behalf of His race. An example of representation is Paul’s contrast between
Adam and Christ (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:45-49). Adam and Christ represent
two heads of two races of people. Adam is the head of the race of fallen
persons. Sin and death came into the world through him. Because of our
fallenness, all people belong to Adam’s race, the old humanity.

Christ, the last Adam, represents a new race of people. These are the people
who have been saved from sin. Where Adam failed, Christ succeeded. Those who
belong to Christ through faith belong to the new humanity He created (2 Cor.
5:17; Eph. 2:14-22).

As substitute, Christ acted in our place. Whereas representation emphasizes
Christ’s relation to the race, substitution stresses His relation to the
individual. He experienced as substitute the suffering and death each person
deserved. Substitution is implied in such references as 2 Corinthians 5:21;
Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24.

In thinking of Christ as substitute, however, His oneness with the Father
must be emphasized. Christ is not a third party who comes between God and
humanity to absorb all the punishment God can inflict. Substitution means
that in Christ, God Himself bears the consequences of human sin. God
reconciles people at great cost to Himself, not at cost to a third party.

Images of Atonement To describe the meaning of atonement New Testament
writers used images drawn from different areas of experience. Each image
says something important about the cross. No one image, however, is adequate
by itself. Each image needs the others to produce the whole picture.

1. Atonement and ransom. Ransom is an image drawn from ancient economic
life. The picture is a slave market or prison. People are in bondage and
cannot free themselves. Someone comes and pays the price (provides the
ransom) to redeem those in captivity.

The New Testament emphasizes both the fact of deliverance and the ransom
price. Jesus said that He came “to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark
10:45). Paul wrote, “ye are not your own; For ye are bought with a price” (1
Cor. 6:19-20; compare 7:23). Peter declared that “ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things, as silver and gold,... But with the precious blood of
Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19a). The main idea in this imagery is rescue from
bondage through the costly self-giving of Jesus.

2. Atonement and victory. In this imagery, Satan, the head of evil forces
and archenemy of God, has humanity in his power. Christ is the Warrior of
God who enters the battle, defeats the devil, and rescues humanity.

This conflict motif pervades the gospels (Matt. 4:1-11; 12:28; Mark 3:27;
John 12:31). The warfare between Jesus and Satan was real. Yet, divine
victory was so certain that Jesus could say in anticipation, “I beheld Satan
as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

Victory imagery is also prominent in the epistles. “For this purpose the Son
of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John
3:8). Christ came so “that through death he might destroy him that had the
power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of
death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15). That
Christ triumphed is clear: “and having spoiled principalities and powers, he
made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15).

3. Atonement and sacrifice. Not surprisingly, the atoning power of Christ’s
death is often expressed in terms drawn from Old Testament sacrificial
practices. Thus, Christ’s death is called a “sacrifice for sins” (Heb.
10:12) and a “sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2). Christ is variously identified
with the Passover lamb (1 Cor. 5:7), the sacrifice which initiates the new
covenant (Luke 22:20), and the sin offering (Heb. 9:14, 25-28).

Sacrificial imagery is another way of expressing the costliness of Christ’s
atoning work. It is a continual reminder that divine love has assumed the
shape of the cross (Gal. 2:20). Furthermore, sacrifice witnesses to the
effectiveness of Christ’s death. Through it, sin is forgiven (Eph. 1:7), and
the conscience is cleansed (Heb. 9:14).

4. Atonement and glory. In much of the New Testament the glorification of
Jesus is associated with His resurrection and ascension. John’s Gospel
shifts perspective. The whole life and work of Jesus is a revelation of
divine glory. This glorification climaxes in Jesus’ death on the cross (John
12:23-24; 13:31-32).

Consistent with this theme is the emphasis on the cross as “lifting up.”
This verb has the double meaning of “to lift up on a cross” and “to exalt.”
The meanings are combined in John’s Gospel. “ ‘and I, if I be lifted up from
the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ This he said, signifying what death
he should die.” (John 12:32-33; compare 3:14; 8:28). The meaning is not that
Jesus was glorified as a reward for His death. Rather it means that divine
glory was revealed in the death He died for sins.

---Anonymous---

Wayne Andres

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Jul 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/15/99
to

Reader Alban Mosher

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Jul 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/15/99
to
cross.htm

nick cobb

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Jul 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/15/99
to

Wayne Andres wrote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--From the OCA Website---


Redemption


By Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko


And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered, and was buried.

Although Jesus did not sin and did not have to suffer
and die, he
voluntarily took upon himself the sins of the world and

voluntarily gave himself up to suffering and death for
the sake of
salvation. This was his task as the Messiah-Saviour:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring good
tidings to the afflicted ... to bind up the
broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the
captives, and the opening of the prison to those
who are bound ... to comfort all who mourn ... to
give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of
gladness instead of mourning" (Isa 61:1-3).

And at the same time, Jesus had to do this as the
suffering
servant of Yahweh-God.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one
from whom men hide their faces he was despised.
and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our
sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by
God and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he
was bruised for our iniquities, upon him was the
chastisement that made us whole, and by his
stripes [i.e., wounds] we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has
laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he
opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the
slaughter, and like a sheep that before his
shearers
is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgement he was taken away
... And they made his grave with the wicked, and
with a rich man in his death, although he had done

no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord (Yahweh) to bruise

him; he has put him to grief; when he makes
himself an offering for sin, he shall see his
offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of
the
Lord shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the
fruit
of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by
his
knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous; and he
shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the
great
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death, and was
numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the
sin of many [or the multitude] and made
intercession for the transgressors (Isa 53).

These words of the prophet Isaiah written centuries
before the
birth of Jesus tell the story of his Messianic mission.
It began
officially before the eyes of all in his baptism by
John in the
Jordan. By allowing himself to be baptized with the
sinners
though he had no sin, Jesus shows that he accepts his
calling to
be identified with the sinners: "the Beloved" of the
Father and
"the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"
(Jn
1:29; Mt 3:17).

Jesus begins to teach, and on the very day and at that
very
moment when his disciples first confess him to be the
Messiah,
"the Christ, the Son of the Living God," Jesus tells
immediately
of his mission to "go to Jerusalem and suffer many
things ... and
be killed, and on the third day be raised" (Mt
16:16-23; Mk
8:29-33). The apostles are greatly upset by this. Jesus
then
immediately shows them his divinity by being
transfigured
before them in divine glory on the mountain in the
presence of
Moses and Elijah. He then tells them once more: "The
Son of
Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they
will kill
him, and he will be raised on the third day" (Mt
17:1-23; Mk
9:1-9).

The powers of evil multiplied against Christ at the
end: "The
kings of the earth counsel together against the Lord
and His
Christ" (Ps 2:2). They were looking for causes to kill
him. The
formal reason was blasphemy, "because you, being a man,

make yourself God" (Jn 10:31-38). Yet the deep reasons
were
more personal: Jesus told men the truth and revealed
their
stubbornness, foolishness, hypocrisy, and sin. For this
reason
every sinner, hardened in his sins and refusing to
repent, wishes
and causes the crucifixion of Christ.

The death of Jesus came at the hands of the religious
and
political leaders of his time, with the approval of the
masses:
when Caiaphas was high priest, "under Pontius Pilate."
He was
"crucified for us ... and suffered and was buried" in
order to be
with us in our sufferings and death which we brought
upon
ourselves because of our sins: "for the wages of sin
are death"
(Rom 6:23). In this sense the Apostle Paul writes of
Jesus that
"having become a curse for us" (Gal 3:13), "for our
sake he
(God the Father) made him to be sin who knew no sin, so
that
in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor

5:21).

The sufferings and death of Christ in obedience to the
Father
reveals the super-abundant divine love of God for his
creation.
For when all was sinful, cursed, and dead, Christ
became sin, a
curse, and dead for us -- though he himself never
ceased to be
the righteousness and blessedness and life of God
Himself. It is
to this depth, of which lower and more base cannot be
discovered or imagined, that Christ has humiliated
himself "for
us men and for our salvation." For being God, he became
man;
and being man, he became a slave; and being a slave, he

became dead and not only dead, but dead on a cross.
From
this deepest degradation of God flows the eternal
exaltation of
man. This is the pivotal doctrine of the Orthodox
Christian faith,
expressed over and again in many ways throughout the
history
of the Orthodox Church. It is the doctrine of the
atonement --
for we are made to be "at one" with God. It is the
doctrine of
redemption -- for we are redeemed, i.e., "bought with a

price," the great price of the blood of God (Acts
20:28; 1 Cor
6:20).

Have this mind among yourselves which you have
in Christ Jesus who, though He was in the form of
God, did not count equality with God a thing to be

grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a

servant [slave], being born in the likeness of
men.
And being found in human form, He humbled
Himself and became obedient unto death, even
death on a cross. Therefore God has highly
exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name, that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on
earth and under the earth, and every tongue
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of

God the Father (Phil 2:5-11).

In contemplating the saving and redeeming action of
Christ, it
has become traditional to emphasize three aspects which
in
reality are not divided, and cannot be; but which in
theory (i.e.,
in the vision of Christ's being.and activity as the
Saviour of the
world) may be distinguished. The first of these three
aspects of
the redeeming work of Christ is the fact that Jesus
saves
mankind by providing the perfect image and example of
human
life as filled with the grace and power of God.


Jesus, the Perfect Image of Human
Life

Christ is the incarnate Word of God. He is the Teacher
and
Master sent by God to the world. He is the embodiment
of
God Himself in human form. He is "the image of the
invisible
God" (Col 1:15). In Him "the fullness of divinity
dwells bodily"
(Col 2:9). The person who sees Jesus sees God the
Father (Jn
14:9). He is the "reflection of the glory of God and
the express
image of His person" (Heb 1:3). He is the "light of the
world"
who "enlightens every man...coming into the world" (Jn
8:12,
1:9). To be saved by Jesus Christ is first of all to be
enlightened
by Him; to see Him as the Light, and to see all things
in the light
of Him. It is to know Him as "the Truth" (Jn 14:6); and
to
know the truth in Him.

And you will know the truth and the truth will
make you free (Jn 8:31).

When one is saved by God in Christ one comes to the
knowledge of the truth, fulfilling God's desire for His
creatures,
for "God our Saviour ... desires all men to be saved
and to
come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4). In
saving
God's world, Jesus Christ enlightens God's creatures by
the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God who is the Spirit of
Truth who
proceeds from the Father and is sent into the world
through
Christ.

If you love Me, you will keep My
commandments. And I will pray the Father, and
He will give you another Counselor, to be with
you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the
world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him
nor knows Him; you know Him, for He dwells
with you, and will be in you (Jn 14:15-17).

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in My name, He will teach you all

things, and bring to your remembrance all that I
have said to you ... (Jn 15:26).

When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you
into all the truth ... (Jn 16:13).

The first aspect of salvation in Christ, therefore, is
to be
enlightened by Him and to know the truth about God and
man
by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of
Truth, which
God gives through Him to those who believe. This is
witnessed
to in the apostolic writings of Saints John and Paul:

Now we have received not the spirit of the world,
but the Spirit which is from God, that we might
understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And
we impart this in words not taught by human
wisdom, but taught by the Spirit, interpreting
spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.
[...] For who has known the mind of the Lord so
as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ

(1 Cor 2:13-16).

For [God] has made known to us in all wisdom
and insight the mystery of His will, according to
His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan

for the fullness of time, to unite all things in
Him,
things in heaven and things on earth. [...] To me
...
this grace was given ... to make all men see what
is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God
... that through the church the manifold wisdom of

God might now be made known ... (Eph 1:8-10;
3:9).

For I want ... that their hearts may be encouraged

as they are knit together in love, to have all the

riches of assured understanding and the
knowledge of God's mystery in Christ, in whom
are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
(Col 2:1-3).

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and
you know all things I write to you, not because
you do not know the truth, but because you know
it, and know that no lie is of the truth. [...]
but the
anointing which you received from Him abides in
you, and you have no need that any one should
teach you; as His anointing teaches you about
everything, and is true and is no lie, just as it
has
taught you, abide in Him. [...] And by this we
know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He
has given to us (1 Jn 2:20-27; 3:24).

The first aspect of man's salvation by God in Christ
is,
therefore, the ability and power to see, to know, to
believe and
to love the truth of God in Christ, who is the Truth,
by the Spirit
of Truth. It is the gift of knowledge and wisdom, of
illumination
and enlightenment, it is the condition of being "taught
by God"
as foretold by the prophets and fulfilled by Christ
(Isa 54:13;
Jer 31:33-34; Jn 6:45). Thus, in the Orthodox Church,
the
entrance into the saving life of the Church through
baptism and
chrismation is called "holy illumination."

For it is God who said, "Let light shine out of
darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the

light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the
face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6).

Jesus, the Reconciler of Man with
God

The second aspect of Christ's one, indivisible act of
salvation of
man and his world is the accomplishment of man's
reconciliation
with God the Father through the forgiveness of sins.
This is the
redemption and atonement strictly speaking, the release
from
sins, and the punishment due to sins; the being made
"at one"
with God.

While we were yet helpless, at the right time
Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly
die for a righteous man -- though perhaps for a
good man one will dare even to die. But God
shows His love for us in that while we were yet
sinners Christ died for us. Since therefore we are

now made righteous by His blood, much more
shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled
to God by the death of His Son, much more, now
that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His
life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God
through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we
have now received our reconciliation (Rom
5:6-11).

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; the old has passed away, behold, the
new has come. All this is from God, who through
Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the
ministry of reconciliation; that is, God was in
Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not
counting their trespasses against them, and
entrusting to us the message of reconciliation (2
Cor 5:17-19).

The forgiveness of sins is one of the signs of the
coming of the
Christ, the Messiah, as foretold in the Old Testament:

... they shall all know me, from the least to the
greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their
iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more
(Jer
31:34).

Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of
the
world, the Lamb that is slain that through Him all sins
might be
forgiven. He is also the great high priest, who offers
the perfect
sacrifice by which man is purged from his sins and
cleansed
from his iniquities. Jesus offers, as high priest, the
perfect
sacrifice of His own very life, His own body, as the
Lamb of
God, upon the tree of the cross.

For to this you have been called, because Christ
suffered for you, leaving you an example that you
should follow in His steps. He committed no sin;
no guile was found on His lips. When He was
reviled, He did not revile in return; when He
suffered, He did not threaten; but He trusted to
Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins
in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin
and live to righteousness. By His wounds you
have been healed. For you were straying like
sheep, but have now returned to the Pastor and
Bishop of your souls (1 Pet 2:22-25).

The high-priestly offering and sacrifice of the Son of
God to His
eternal Father is described in great detail in the
Letter to the
Hebrews in the New Testament scriptures.

In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers

and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to
Him who was able to save Him from death, and
He was heard for His godly fear. Although He
was a Son, He learned obedience through what
He suffered, and being made perfect, He became
the source of eternal salvation to all who obey
Him, being designated a high priest by God,
according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb
5:7-10).

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the
good things that have come ... He entered once
for all into the Holy Place [not made by hands,
i.e., the Presence of God] taking ... His own
blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if

the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood
of
goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer
sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how
much more shall the blood of Christ who through
the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish

to God, purify your conscience from dead works
to serve the living God. Therefore, He is the
mediator of a new covenant, so that those who
are called may receive the promised eternal
inheritance, since a death has occurred which
redeems them from the transgressions under the
first covenant (Heb 9:11-15).

According to the scriptures, man's sins and the sins of
the whole
world are forgiven and pardoned by the sacrifice of
Christ, by
the offering of His life -- His body and His blood,
which is the
"blood of God" (Acts 20:28) -- upon the cross. This is
the
"redemption," the "ransom," the "expiation," the
"propitiation"
spoken about in the scriptures which had to be made so
that
man could be "at one" with God. Christ "paid the price"
which
was necessary to be paid for the world to be pardoned
and
cleansed of all iniquities and sins (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23).

In the history of Christian doctrine there has been
great debate
over the question of to whom Christ "pays the price"
for the
ransom of the world and the salvation of mankind. Some
have
said that the "payment" was made to the devil. This is
the view
that the devil received certain "rights" over man and
his world
because of man's sin. In his rebellion against God, man
"sold
himself to the devil" thus allowing the Evil One to
become the
"prince of this world" (Jn 12:31). Christ comes to pay
the debt
to the devil and to release man from his control by
sacrificing
Himself upon the cross.

Others say that Christ's "payment" on behalf of man had
to be
made to God the Father. This is the view which
interprets
Christ's sacrificial death on the cross as the proper
punishment
that had to be paid to satisfy God's wrath over the
human race.
God was insulted by man's sin. His law was broken and
His
righteousness was offended. Man had to pay the penalty
for his
sin by offering the proper punishment. But no amount of
human
punishment could satisfy God's justice because God's
justice is
divine. Thus the Son of God had to be born into the
world and
receive the punishment that was rightly to be placed on
men. He
had to die in order for God to receive proper
satisfaction for
man's offenses against Him. Christ substituted Himself
on our
behalf and died for our sins, offering His blood as the
satisfying
sacrifice for the sins of the world. By dying on the
cross in place
of sinful man, Christ pays the full and total payment
for man's
sins. God's wrath is removed. Man's insult is punished.
The
world is reconciled with its Creator.

Commenting on this question about to whom Christ "pays
the
price" for man's salvation, St. Gregory the Theologian
in the
fourth century wrote the following in his second Easter
Oration:

Now we are to examine another fact and dogma,
neglected by most people, but in my judgment
well worth enquiring into. To whom was that
Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was
It shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of
our God and High Priest and Sacrifice.

We were detained in bondage by the Evil One,
sold under sin, and receiving pleasure in exchange

for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs
only to him who holds in bondage, I ask to whom
was this offered, and for what cause?

If to the Evil One, fie upon the outrage! If the
robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a
ransom which consists of God Himself, and has
such an illustrious payment for his tyranny, then
it
would have been right for him to have left us
alone
altogether!

But if to God the Father, I ask first, how? For it

was not by Him that we were being oppressed.
And next, on what principle did the Blood of His
only-begotten Son delight the Father, who would
not receive even Isaac, when he was being
sacrificed by his father, [Abraham,] but changed
the sacrifice by putting a ram in the place of the

human victim? (See Gen 22).

Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but

neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on
account of the incarnation, and because Humanity
must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that
He might deliver us Himself, and overcome the
tyrant (i.e., the devil) and draw us to Himself by

the mediation of His Son who also arranged this to

the honor of the Father, whom it is manifest He
obeys in all things.

In Orthodox theology generally it can be said that the
language
of "payment" and "ransom" is rather understood as a
metaphorical and symbolical way of saying that Christ
has done
all things necessary to save and redeem mankind
enslaved to
the devil, sin and death, and under the wrath of God.
He "paid
the price," not in some legalistic or juridical or
economic
meaning. He "paid the price" not to the devil whose
rights over
man were won by deceit and tyranny. He "paid the price"
not to
God the Father in the sense that God delights in His
sufferings
and received "satisfaction" from His creatures in Him.
He "paid
the price" rather, we might say, to Reality Itself. He
"paid the
price" to create the conditions in and through which
man might
receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life by
dying and
rising again in Him to newness of life (See Rom 5-8;
Gal 2-4).

By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus
Christ
cleansed the world from evil and sin. He defeated the
devil "in
his own territory" and on "his own terms." The "wages
of sin is
death" (Rom 6:23). So the Son of God became man and
took
upon Himself the sins of the world and died a voluntary
death.
By His sinless and innocent death accomplished entirely
by His
free will -- and not by physical, moral, or juridical
necessity --
He made death to die and to become itself the source
and the
way into life eternal. This is what the Church sings on
the feast
of the Resurrection, the New Passover in Christ, the
new
Paschal Lamb, who is risen from the dead:

Christ is risen from the dead!
Trampling down death by death!
And upon those in the tombs bestowing life!
(Easter Troparion)

And this is how the Church prays at the divine liturgy
of Saint
Basil the Great:

He was God before the ages, yet He appeared on
earth and lived among men, becoming incarnate of
a holy Virgin;

He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant,
being likened to the body of our lowliness, that
He
might liken us to the image of His Glory.

For as by man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin, so it pleased Thine Only-begotten
Son, who was in the bosom of Thee, the God and
Father, who was born of a woman, the holy
Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, who was born
under the law to condemn sin in His flesh, so that

those who were dead in Adam might be made
alive in Thy Christ Himself.

He lived in this world and gave commandments of
salvation; releasing us from the delusions of
idolatry, He brought us to knowledge of Thee, the
true God and Father. He obtained us for His own
chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

Having cleansed us in water, and sanctified us
with
the Holy Spirit, He gave Himself as a ransom to
death, in which we were held captive, sold under
sin.

Descending through the cross into Sheol -- that
He might fill all things with Himself -- He loosed

the pangs of death. He arose on the third day,
having made for all flesh a path to the
resurrection
from the dead, since it was not possible for the
Author of Life to be a victim of corruption.

So He became the first-fruits of those who have
fallen asleep, the first-born of the dead, that He

might be Himself truly the first in all things ...

(Eucharistic Prayer of the Liturgy of St. Basil)

Jesus, the Destroyer of Death

The third and final aspect of the saving and redeeming
action of
Christ, therefore, is the deepest and most
comprehensive. It is
the destruction of death by Christ's own death. It is
the
transformation of death itself into an act of life. It
is the
recreation of Sheol -- the spiritual condition of being
dead --
into the paradise of God. Thus, in and through the
death of
Jesus Christ, death is made to die. In Him, who is the
Resurrection and the Life, man cannot die, but lives
forever with
God.

Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears my word
and believes in Him who sent me has eternal life;
he does not come into judgment, but has passed
from death into life (Jn 5:24).

"I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who
believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and
whoever lives and believes in me shall never die"
(Jn 11:25-26).

It is Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised
from the dead, who is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us! Who shall separate
us from the love of Christ? [...] For I am sure
that
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor things present, nor things to
come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation will be able to
separate
us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord
(Rom 8:34-39).

For in Him the whole fullness of divinity dwells
bodily, and you have come to fullness of life in
Him ... and you were buried with Him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with Him through
faith in the working of God who raised Him from
the dead. And you were dead in trespasses ...
God made alive together with Him, having
forgiven us all our trespasses, having cancelled
the
bond which stood against us with its legal
demands; this He set aside, nailing it to the
cross.
He disarmed the [demonic] principalities and
powers and made a public example of them,
triumphing over them ... for you have died, and
your life is hid with Christ in God (Col 2:9 ff).

This is the doctrine of the New Testament scriptures,
repeated
over and again in many ways in the tradition of the
Church: in its
sacraments, hymnology, theology, iconography. Christ's
victory
over death is man's release from sins and man's victory
over
enslavement to the devil because in and through
Christ's death
man dies and is born again to eternal life. In his
death sins are
no longer counted. In his death the devil no longer
holds him. In
his death he is born again to newness of life and is
liberated
from all that is evil, false, demonic, and sinful. In a
word, he is
freed from all that is dead by dying and rising again
in and with
Jesus.

But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made
lower than the angels, crowned with glory and
honor because of the suffering of death, so that
by
the grace of God He might taste death for every
one. [...] Since therefore the children share in
flesh
and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the
same nature, that through death He might destroy
him who has the power of death, that is, the
devil,
and deliver all those who through fear of death
were subject to lifelong bondage (Heb 2:9-15).

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For
as by a man came death, by a Man has come also
the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all
die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
[...]
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is

the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor
15:20ff; 56-57).

Scott Wilcox

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Jul 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/15/99
to
Hello Wayne,
Father Tom Hopko has a wonderful teaching series called "The Word of the
Cross'' that addresses some of your question very well. His tape series on
"The Love of God" is also excellent and touches upon it. They are available
from St Vladimirs Seminary Bookstore. I was also reading some posts a few
weeks ago on a list where Evangelicals and Orthodox discuss theological
issues in depth and they really spent alot of time on this one. I couldn't
do it justice in a few sentences here, but it seems that the idea of a

"substitutionary atonement" is accepted as orthodox as long as one doesn't
subscribe to the idea of God the Father's anger being appeased by Christ's
sacrifice which makes God seem more like us, a slave to our passions, than
Himself . If I'm not mistaken though, it seems that the Orthodox position
tends to emphasize more the conquering of death and the assumption of our
human nature for the purpose of our divinization in theosis as the primary
focus. This also explains some of the differences between East and West in
regards to "original sin", the West seeming to teach that we inherit
sin(Adam's) while the East teaching that we inherit the result of Adam's
sin, "death". Of course Christ was willing to bear in Himself the result of
all of our sins thus taking death upon himself. But "death could not hold
Him down!" He conquered death by death! And united Himself forever with
mankind! It's amazing to even let the implications of it all cross our minds
and hearts! Our God is so good. I'll try to find you the address of the
other discussion group so you can read the whole dialogue. It was very
fascinating and edifying. Please forgive me, fellow readers, if I've
misrepresented any of the positions above and please clarify if you can.
In the resurrected Christ,
Symeon Scott
Wayne Andres <wayne...@sprint.ca> wrote in message
news:378E8362...@sprint.ca...

evagr...@my-deja.com

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
There is a theological opinion, I believe from the schlastics, perhaps
Duns Scotus, that examines the notion of necessity.
If the Crucifixion and Resurrection did not have to occur, would there
still be an Incarnation?
The answer, for Scotus, was yes.
The Incarnation took place to teach humanity/reveal to humanity the way
to theosis/sanctification.

In article <7mnnn1$5qv$3...@newssrv.otenet.gr>,
"Andrew Tsikitas" <tsik...@otenet.gr> wrote:
> Peter, we have the account in the Gospels of Matthew (16:21), Mark
(8:31),
> and Luke (9:22), which state that Jesus told His disciples that He
MUST go
> to Jerusalem to be betrayed, suffer, die, and rise from the dead. It
does
> not say that He simply told them it would happen, but that it must
take
> place. I also double-checked with the Greek, which uses the word "thi"
> (pronounced like thee) in all three accounts, which means "it is
necessary",
> "one must", "it ought". This clearly shows the necessity of the
crucifixion,
> and not that it was just something that happened because of certain
> circumstances.
>
> --
> Humbly yours in Christ,
> -A.N.T.
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> "Do you wish to be a theologian and worthy of divinity?
> Protect the commandments, and walk by the statutes;
> actions supercede theory." - St. Gregory the Theologian, 20th Oration
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Peter Terry wrote in message
> >
> >With the greatest respect, Jesus' assassination was not necessary
and only
> >transpired because he was betrayed by his friends..Up until the
crucifixion
> > he managed to avoid arrest and took great pains to ensure his
freedom.
> Once
> >arrested with no way out he begrudgingly accepted his
fate,((Matt.26:39

Peter Terry

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to

Wayne Andres wrote in message <378E8362...@sprint.ca>...

I know Scripture says, "Without the
>shedding of blood there is no remission of sins"...but why not? Why this
>particular way?
>
>--
>Wayne


Would you mind showing me where scripture says that there is
"no remission for sin without the shedding of blood". I fail to find
reference to this statement within the gospels..

While it is a central tenet of Christianity that Jesus voluntarily offered
his life to sacrifice, for the sins of the world- I fail to find any
evidence
within the gospels where Jesus himself taught such a theory.. To the
contrary, there would appear to be more evidence within the gospels
supporting the notion that Jesus valued his life, and took serious steps
to ensure his security...

While every Tom, Dick and Harry this side of the black stump has
proclaimed that Jesus' sacrifice was a requisite to our salvation, there
would appear to be very little evidence from the man himself supporting
such a scenario.

PeterT

Kevin Bullard

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
Gosh - I guess you're right! They had Him dead-to-rights! There was no way for
Him to slink off this time! DANG! Should'a watched more of those Duke Boys on
the TeeVee show! They was uh'always gettin' out of tight binds!
Kinda reminds me of Rev. Moon's time in the hoosegow.
the Kevinator

Peter Terry wrote:

> He could not escape in this instance as he done previously, "arrest means
> held against your will"..Perhaps you could explain how and when the man had
> the opportunity to escape his captives.
>
> PeterT
>
>

Wayne Andres

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
Scott Wilcox wrote:

> I recently finished reading the book "On Prayer" by Archimandrite Sophrony.
> It is wonderful and I recommend it very much. It is also quite relevant to
> our discussion of Christ's death for us as a demonstration of His great love
> for us. I thought one of the prayers at the end would be fitting to post;
>
> O CHRIST our GOD,
> Desire of our hearts,
> Diffuse the light of Thy truth over us,
> that in thy light, unworthy as we are,
> we may behold Thy glory
> as of the only-begotten of the Father,
> and so be fashioned after Thy searchless image,
> in the likeness of which Thou didst create man.
>
> O God our Saviour, light of our minds,
> may thy strenght abide in us,
> that we may ever be in Thee,
> bearing always within us Thy Holy Spirit.
>
> Grant us to know Thy love for mankind,
> and make us like unto Thee, our Lord and our God,
> as all Thy saints through ages were like unto Thee.
>
> Yea, Lord Jesus Christ,
> according to Thine unfailing promise
> come and make Thine abode in us,
> together with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
> from everlasting to everlasting.


>
> Wayne Andres <wayne...@sprint.ca> wrote in message
> news:378E8362...@sprint.ca...
> > Okay. Here's the problemo. I'm not certain I fully understand the
> > Orthodox doctrine regarding Christ's substitutionary death on the Cross.
> > Let me approach this question by simply asking some questions:
> > 1. Why did the Lord need to die?
> > 2. How would the death of a "perfect man/God" satisfy God the Father? It
> > sounds as though He is being appeased and I know that can't be the case.

> > So...uh...why the shedding of blood? I know Scripture says, "Without the


> > shedding of blood there is no remission of sins"...but why not? Why this
> > particular way?
> >
> > --
> > Wayne

> > mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca
> >
> >

Scott, what is the title of his book? Thanks.


--
Wayne
mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca

Wayne Andres

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
Reader Alban Mosher wrote:
 

The reason why our Saviour dies on the cross was because we Adam and Eve sinned,
their nature because separated from communion with God and became weakened, and
death entered the world. So Death was the enemy of the human race. Our Saviour, when
he died on the cross, in our nature entered into death and since death could hold
Him who is the author and creator of life, death because swallowed up in life. We,
as Orthodox Christians, are saved by participating in Christ and having Him dwelling
in us. That is why in Holy Baptism and Chrismation we "put on Christ" and that is
why in the Eucharist we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ.
 
 

Dear Alban...

You know, Alban, for the first time I think I "get" it. Your simple words have brought meaning to this mystery to me. While I always simply accepted it and never really mulled it over in my mind, putting these few Scriptures together as you have has opened my mind to this wonderful gift from God. Thanks, Buddy.
 

--
Wayne
mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca
 

Andrew Tsikitas

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to

Emmanouil Krokos

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
In article <93210877...@subsonic.fan.net.au>, Peter Terry
<rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:

> Could you please provide gospel evidence that Jesus himself actively
> volunteered for human sacrifice..There is no question that he predicted his
> death, after all the man was a visionary and given that he had been
> threatened
> and continually hounded by his accusers, it would not have been difficult
> to
> deduce that it were only a question of time before they caught up with him.

We can't agree on this at all, because you see Jesus Christ as a "man"
who was a "visionary". To us, He is the All-seeing, All-knowing, Living
God. He volunteered for this sacrifice, he could have escaped it if He
wished but He didn't. When the ear of the servant was cut off, He
restored it and although He could escape any way He chose or even kill
all His persecutors, He followed them to His death. During His trial He
could have saved His life on lots of occasions, but the decision was
made.

His sacrifice was an example of infinite Love. He gave his own life to
rescue us, too much for us sinners and weak human beings to even
comprehend. His Holy Blood was the ink that the New Testament was
signed with. He shed His blood to raise the darkness that human race
was condemned in. The moments of pain were actually a sign that He
suffered which makes His action of Love even more inspiring. It was not
a theater act. He was in REAL agony and pain. He, once more, took all
the burdens and cargos from our backs and put them on His shoulders.

Examples of how we should follow His example and be ready to give even
our lives for the sake of Love --for either fellow humans or for our
God-- were given to us by the multitude of martyrs and saints that were
tortured and killed. Voluntarily, of course. If they could do it, why
are you suggesting that the One and Only God couldn't?

--
May God be with you
Emmanouil Krokos

Reader Alban Mosher

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
Wayne Andres wrote:

> Scott Wilcox wrote:
>
> > but it seems that the idea of a
> > "substitutionary atonement" is accepted as orthodox as long as one doesn't
> > subscribe to the idea of God the Father's anger being appeased by Christ's
> > sacrifice which makes God seem more like us, a slave to our passions, than
> > Himself .
>

> First, thanks to Nick, Alban and Scott for your posts. I intend to spend some
> time reading through them. The above sentence still mystifies me because it
> really doesn't answer the question but seems to skirt it. It makes me wonder if
> the question can even be answered. What exactly is transpiring in this sacrifice
> and why is it necessary? I know God is not a God of passions like our own...and
> that the seriousness of sin requires (for whatever reason) a death. But why?
> There are so many pagan religions that also followed this idea of appeasing an
> angry god with a sacrifice (human, animal....blood-letting...WHY?). Oh
> well..I'll read. Don't know why this never bothered me before but it seems to be

> bothering me now. Thanks.
>
> > --
>
> Wayne
> mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca

The reason why our Saviour dies on the cross was because we Adam and Eve sinned,


their nature because separated from communion with God and became weakened, and
death entered the world. So Death was the enemy of the human race. Our Saviour, when
he died on the cross, in our nature entered into death and since death could hold
Him who is the author and creator of life, death because swallowed up in life. We,
as Orthodox Christians, are saved by participating in Christ and having Him dwelling
in us. That is why in Holy Baptism and Chrismation we "put on Christ" and that is
why in the Eucharist we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ.

God is not a passionate person and does not "get angry" with us. Those expressions
used in the scriptures which speak of God's anger are really saying; "Look people,
you are cutting yourself off from Him who is the Creator of Life, it is your choice
to do this. Get right with God." We do not serve a petty od who is just itching to
smash humans to pieces but rather a loving God who has taken on our human nature and
in that human nature, in union with his own divine nature, overcomes death.

In IC XC,
Alban Mosher, Reader

Peter Terry

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to

Emmanouil Krokos wrote in message <160719991137249869%mkr...@usa.net>...

>In article <93210877...@subsonic.fan.net.au>, Peter Terry
><rua...@fan.net.au> wrote:
>
>> Could you please provide gospel evidence that Jesus himself actively
>> volunteered for human sacrifice..

>We can't agree on this at all, because you see Jesus Christ as a "man"


>who was a "visionary".

Its not a question of my perceptions of Jesus, be he man or God or both,
its a question of scriptural truth.

He volunteered for this sacrifice, he could have escaped it if He
>wished but He didn't. >

Yes I know, that this idea is a central tenet of Christianity- I charge that
this
particular dogma has been invented by misguided theologians, because
this idea is unscriptural and is not supported by the gospels or by Jesus
himself.
It is easy to feel emotional and hold a certain element of guilt regarding
the
crucifixion, but at the end of the day we must decide whether we follow the
teachings of Christ or the teachings of the church- which followed Jesus by
some 300 years or so.

>His sacrifice was an example of infinite Love. He gave his own life to
>rescue us, too much for us sinners and weak human beings to even
>comprehend.

No, he died because he was betrayed by Judas and the Chief Priests, arrested
and put to death by the Romans against his will. He could not escape in this


instance as he done previously, "arrest means held against your
will"..Perhaps you
could explain how and when the man had the opportunity to escape his
captives.


PeterT

>May God be with you
>Emmanouil Krokos

Wilkerson

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
See John 10:17-18


Peter Terry wrote in message <93210877...@subsonic.fan.net.au>...
>
>nick cobb wrote in message <378E8F62...@cris.com>...


>>
>
>>
>> Although Jesus did not sin and did not have to suffer
>>and die, he
>> voluntarily took upon himself the sins of the world
>and
>>
>> voluntarily gave himself up to suffering and death
for
>>the sake of
>> salvation. This was his task as the Messiah-Saviour:
>>

>Snip


>
>Could you please provide gospel evidence that Jesus himself actively

>volunteered for human sacrifice..There is no question that he predicted his
>death, after all the man was a visionary and given that he had been
>threatened
> and continually hounded by his accusers, it would not have been difficult
>to
>deduce that it were only a question of time before they caught up with him.
>

>PeterT
>
>

Peter Terry

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to

nick cobb wrote in message <378E8F62...@cris.com>...
>

>


> Although Jesus did not sin and did not have to suffer
>and die, he
> voluntarily took upon himself the sins of the world
and
>
> voluntarily gave himself up to suffering and death for
>the sake of
> salvation. This was his task as the Messiah-Saviour:
>

Wayne Andres

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Jul 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/16/99
to
Scott Wilcox wrote:

> Hello Wayne,
> I found some of the posts I referred to from another newsgroup in my delete
> folder. I've attached them here(4 of them).If you want to read more , go to
> the location and search for topic "Why must Christ be God", you'll find the
> whole discussion. It was a really good discussion and the folks
> involved(Orthodox and Evangelicals) were very respectful to one
> another(well, most of them) and it reallly allowed the Orthodox position to
> be understood by others. An interesting idea, huh?, without all the bashing
> that goes on. Anyhow, I hope you find the posts interesting as I did.
> In Christ's Love,
> Symeon Scott


> Wayne Andres <wayne...@sprint.ca> wrote in message
> news:378E8362...@sprint.ca...
> > Okay. Here's the problemo. I'm not certain I fully understand the
> > Orthodox doctrine regarding Christ's substitutionary death on the Cross.
> > Let me approach this question by simply asking some questions:
> > 1. Why did the Lord need to die?
> > 2. How would the death of a "perfect man/God" satisfy God the Father? It
> > sounds as though He is being appeased and I know that can't be the case.
> > So...uh...why the shedding of blood? I know Scripture says, "Without the
> > shedding of blood there is no remission of sins"...but why not? Why this
> > particular way?
> >
> > --
> > Wayne
> > mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca
> >
> >

These responses have been very helpful. I really appreciate the time you all
have taken.


--
Wayne
mailto:wayne...@sprint.ca

nick cobb

unread,
Jul