Sunday, January 16, 2011

Destroying evil without destroying us...

Why did Jesus have to die?  Couldn't God just forgive?

In his excellent book, The Reason for God, Tim Keller argues that forgiveness always means bearing the cost instead of making the wrongdoer do it.   "Forgiveness means absorbing the debt of the sin yourself."  
"It is crucial at this point to remember that the Christian faith has always understood that Jesus is God.  God did not, then, inflict pain on someone else, bur rather on the Cross absorbed the pain, violence, and evil of the world into himself.  Therefore the God of the Bible is not like the primitive deities who demanded our blood for their wrath to be appeased.  Rather, this is a God who becomes human and offers his own lifeblood so that someday he can destroy all evil without destroying us."  
Jesus is both the priest and the offering.   He said, "I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep...No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord" (The Gospel of John, 10:11, 19).

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