"Jesus died to take away our sins". Yeah ok, HOW exactly?

People often discuss the Christian axiom that God sent his son to die and take away our sins, and its related issues. A question that I don't often hear and have never received a satisfactory answer to is, how?

Ever since I was a small child it has never made any sense to me. In fact, I often doubted my mental faculties for not being able to deduce the methodolgy by which Christ, god or man, dying on a cross, suffering execution, would "take away our sins" or if you like, take away the punishment we would receive for committing sin. How exactly, is the act of Jesus dying on the cross meant to serve as a method for taking away our sins or the punishment for them? I can only assume some advanced metaphysics are at work, way beyond my comprehension.

This also begs the question, why did an omnipotent god require such an act? He could have sorted it out himself (and I'm not sure the Jesus thing was a complete success). What kind of god are we dealing with here? I mean, is he alright?

62 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    God didn't demand a human sacrifice. Jesus died to show mankind death was an illusion. He was proving life is eternal. Just as Jesus demonstrated the nothingness of disease. He was sent to awaken us from the spiritual sleep man was experiencing. The same deep spiritual sleep Adam had slipped into. Nowhere in the Bible does it say Adam awakened from this sleep,because he never did and neither has mankind.

  • THA
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    --IF YOU WERE GOING TO BE AWARDED $10,000,000,000 for sure without any strings attached(except to express the proper appreaciation to your benefactor without fail, once a day) & it was going to be wired to a very special account that you have an idea about! BUT-- you do not know EXACTLY how it is going to processed:

    1. You do not have the EXACT electronic access code to check on it!

    2. You do not have the EXACT banks telephone number!

    3. You do not have the EXACT account number!

    4. You do not know EXACTLY if its under your name OR another name you are known by!


    1. The benefactor is a real person and you know his name and his accountent in chief!

    2. You do know the amount!

    3. You know the Banks name as reputable for such matters, and always delivers!

    4. That after certain happenings you will start to receive the money in installments

    --LETS JUST say (not being exacting) you will get it in $30,000 a month for who knows how long it will take !

    ---NOW JUST BECAUSE you do not know all the EXACT things you want or might want , WOULD you reject that money!

    OR WOULD you be patient and not greedy to get it in due time?

    --"WHAT KIND of benefactor(god) are we dealing with here", "IS HE ALRIGHT" or should we not trust him, BECAUSE we do not know the exact way everything wil be processed?

    YOU KNOW enough of the the provision of God to make fun of it , but would you do the same with the 10 billion dollar benefactor?---AND NOT GET ANYTHING?

    Source(s): JUST some questions
  • Jet
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Seems to me you have not been reading your Bible. Or worse, you do not have a Bible at all.

    For your information, the Bible speaks that the Lord God will forgive the sins of man only if "blood is shed"...I guess you know what that means. But if not, I will proceed anyway.

    Because it was written, it generally means that a pure heart will make a sacrifice to save mankind. And no person on earth is pure, except the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Crucifixion, the sins of mankind were all forgiven. That means we are all saved. If you need additional explanation, you can e-mail me or read your Bible.

  • 1 decade ago

    The question you are asking in one that many ask themselves, Christians included. The only answer is: Jesus' death was the means in which God choose to bring salvation to the world. We will not be able to know the ends and outs or why God didn't choose another way. It is what He saw fit, and we all need to be thankful that a way was provided for us to have eternal life. God knows best. The punishment was due to us, but Jesus being completely innocent, took all the punishment upon Himself. Why? Because God loves us and because He is a supreme being and we will not always have the answers and to the why's, where's, when's, how etc.. of what God does.

    It's like asking God why He made the earth round. Why not flat? Why is grass green and not purple. Why do humans have two legs and not three. Why can't humans fly etc.......

    Again, God made and does things according to His infinite knowledge, which way surpasses our own.

    Yes, God could have sorted it all out in an instant. For His reasons, He did not.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I only started God hunting for about 2 weeks now but it seems like an easy enough answer to answer.

    If you believe there can be sin as the devil himself brought into this borrowed world we now live in then. It most be something very dangers and evil as all the pain comes from sin look at how many people say this world sucks. Why is this world so evil etc... Well in the begging when God made man and women perfect in a perfect world the Devil jacked that up for us. Go read the rest it tells how bad it became after that. Dam Devil and his drug pushing or acid apple pushing.

    So it seems to me Jesus came down and sucked that sin up like a sponge, It hurt like hell itself but he did it for us-you and me.

    Why would God go through this when he can snap his fingers and fix anything. Can anyone say free will. The ball is in your court if he fixed the game then whats the fun in playing huh? A perfect world this is not but then this is not Heaven you have to earn that.

    Like I said I only been at asking Q's for 2 weeks and just started to read the bible a couple of days ago. But the dam thing makes sense, go figure a book that old and it makes sense so far. As I read more I will try to fill in the blanks.

    Good Luck and as they say God bless

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hi Luther:

    Let me begin by saying I think you're making this much more complicated than it really is.

    Acts 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    Acts 6:23 tells us that the penalty for this sin is death.

    Hebrews 9:22 tells us that we cannot

    obtain forgiveness for this sin without the shedding of blood.

    In the old testament it was a lamb or other animal that had to be flawless or without blemish that was sacrificed.

    In the New testament, Christ provided the necessary blood for that forgiveness.

  • 1 decade ago

    Good question. I am pagan, but have studied the Bible to answer some questions of my own and from my findings this is how the death of Jesus is supposed to atone for the sins of the earth...

    In the old testament there was no heaven. According to scriptures there were two sections near hell. The "heaven" which was more like a purgatory, could not see into the hell with the souls in torment, but the offending sinners could see into heaven to increase their suffering.

    Basically when Jesus died he went to hell to atone for all the souls like Abraham who were in this temporary resting place until the messiah came. During the three days of his death he is supposed to have gone in and served everyone's (for lack of a better word) penance- tearing the limbo away and expanding hell and creating the heaven that is spoken of today.

    That is why people of the Christian faith can go straight to heaven when they die and that is what is meant when Jesus asks "My God why have you forsaken me?"

    I hope this helps since noone really tried to answer your question.

    Blessings to you.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Very good question...

    First we must realize that "sin" in God's eyes requires justice and the person committing the sin to pay for that sin. Without Christ and His atonement, the earth would utterly be wasted because none of us could or ever will be perfect. We all sin, therefore needed some way to be able to overcome that or repent. We were in need of Redeemer, God knew this before the world was even formed and Christ was chosen in the premortal life to be that Savior. He knew His mission and lovingly accepted it.

    Christ suffered not on the cross for our sins, but in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he took upon himself the sins of every person that had lived or would ever live on the earth and so great was the anguish he shed drops of blood. He literally suffered physically and spiritually for the world's sins...but his suffering has no meaning for those who do not repent. Those who do not repent will suffer even as Christ did, for their own sins. After this suffering, justice required a "perfect sacrifice", like in days of old when the firstlings of the flocks were sacrificed, the most perfect lamb or oxen or whatever, it had to be the best one. Christ was the only one perfect to make the sacrifice for us. Since Christ is also Lord, His sacrifice was sufficient for all of us. He sealed the sacrifice with the shedding of innocent and perfect blood, His own.

    Source(s): CTR LDS.org mormon.org
  • 1 decade ago

    OK, to quote M. Scott Peck, "Life is difficult." We live on a planet where Satan fell when he was cast from heaven. Life is difficult. For whatever reason, God made the shedding of blood essential to the forgiveness of sins. I suspect the point he was trying to make was that sin, like addiction, has only one end: (jails, institutions, and) death. I suspect he wanted us to be appalled by sacrificing animals for what we did wrong and strive to do more things right. God even said "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats." (Isaiah 1:11) Satan is a crooked lawyer. He always demands God to keep His literal word. So God and His Son and whoever else make up the Elohim of the One God made a plan for shed blood that would cover the sins of all mankind and let the innocent animals whom God also loves live out their natural lives. His Son came, by plan, to live a difficult life, to choose to do right and not sin, and to offer Himself as a blood sacrifice to fulfill the literal requirement of God's law for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus death on the cross would not have meant anything as a method for taking away our sins or their punishment if He hadn't been resurrected. It was the resurrection that made it effective. And, no, the Jesus thing was certainly NOT a complete success. However, I believe that after He came here and lived a fully human life, and returned to the Father to share His experience in a fully human body and world, that grace got easier. A number of passages in the New Testament suggest that Jesus didn't find it easy to be here in a human body. I imagine Him, as our Advocate, saying to God at times, "You know, I was in that situation when I was there. That's a really tough one. Let's give him/her a little grace on this one." Is God alright? Well, even if He's not, the Devil is so much worse.

  • 1 decade ago

    Of course Jesus did not have to die in order for God to forgive us. I think that is just mans way of bringing God down to our level so we can understand something infinite with our finite minds.

    If you think back on the time Jesus died, sacrifices were not only commonplace, they were the law. I believe Jesus knew God did not need the sacrifice of his blood, but that ppl needed it in order to believe. So Jesus did what ignorant ppl needed. To me that means even more than the trad. view that, "by his blood we are saved." It's really because God sent us information about how to live rightly are we saved from the misery we cause ourselves. Long topic, not enough room. So I'll quit here.

    Blessed Be

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, you don;t have to dig very deeply into Bible studies to get to the bottom of this one. I think the problem is that the answer is not intuitive, and you don't want to look it up.

    Basically, the deal is that you have to be without sin to enjoy eternal life, or "life after death" as the Christians put it. So, Go imbues Jesus with the power to resolve, or "take away", or forgive, sin. The way it works is that you have to "believe in Him", and ask forgiveness in prayer or communion.

    The crucifixion of Christ is the way He spread the word - "Hey, did you hear they killed the Jewish King? Man, what a terrible thing!" Then you go find out about Him, decide whether or not you believe what He said, "that whosoever believeth in Him..." and that seals the deal. You either live eternally in Heaven or not.

    Not very confusing.

    By the way, it's not "begs the question", it's "raises the question." To "beg the question" means to render the question meaningless.

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