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Was Jesus Qualified To Be Our Redeemer?


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One of the central tenets of Christian belief is that Jesus died for our sins. Everyone must die for there sins but Jesus died in our place. This relies upon the fact that Jesus is without sin as, if Jesus had sinned he could not die in our place because he had to die for his own sin.


The problem with this is of course the gospels show that Jesus broke the sabbath John 5:18 "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." and the punishment ordained by God for sabbath breakers was that they were to be stoned to death Exodus 31:14 "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death." Thus according to Jewish law he had to be stoned. To put this into context here is the punishment for raping a non-engaged girl in the bible 22:27-29 "For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." Thus from the point of the biblical law the fact that Jesus broke the Sabbath would make it so that he had even less standing to be our redeemer than if he had raped a 13 year old girl.

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Part of the problem with "Christ being sinless", or that he was "perfect" (for thirty years?) is that it would not be possible to understand what it means to be fully human, let alone a human male, without being able to at least understand, even if in a detached way, the mechanism of lust, temptation, anger, jealously, contempt, and so on.



I would actually be more comfortable with a redeemer who had indulged in the regular gamut of sin, and therefore had an understanding of how it works in an individual. At some point he could have become "purified" or something, and still stood for being an excellent role model. (Augustine was guite the sinner earlier in his life).


Of course, "sin" is a difficult concept, since it is a religious construct a little bit different than the idea of morality, ethics, or even doing the "right thing".


It's interesting how the gospels sort of shield Jesus from having to comment on any of the real difficult moral dilemmas that existed at that time. At no time is he asked whether criminals should be in fact crucified, or even how a poor starving man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family should be treated. (That might have made for future impact; or likely "edited out" of the scriptures)


Around every corner in the gospel certain issues are "side-stepped", rendered vague (such as his remark about harming the hair on a child's head...would that apply to armed warfare as well ? Collateral damage ?) ...yet it is clear Jesus had a moral contempt for those who horde wealth, opulence, and class status.



Yet, at the same time, he forgives Magdalene "out of hand", without so much as blinking, as if fully understanding the impossible position of a sex-trade worker in that culture. There are just so many strange inconcistancies in the attitude of the gospel Jesus and the way that Christian ideas about sin have evolved that I sometimes wonder if modern Christians are even talking about the same person.


Mind you, an apologist will cleverly spin Bible quotes about all that so that the rubik's cube colors all line up, but most of us are tired of that kind of "conjuring". And it is conjuring. Any strange irrational aspect of "truth" can be defended with just a litte bit of imaginative "scripture-passage-spin".


I'm personally more favourable towards a real Jesus, who wasn't perfect, than in a mythical construct Jesus who is obviously such an impossible character to ever really understand.


My point is, you could never truly understand what it is like to be a pig, not really, unless you had ravenously enjoyed slop, and had your thirty minute orgasm. Not really. It would always be a detached view, but in the end an irrelevant, ignorant view.


That's the problem with a "perfect and sinless-all-his-life Jesus". It isn't even logically possible (such a person wouldn't even be able to function) and such credentials would make such a person "unqualified" to really understand the human experience.


But of course, he was "eternal God" the whole time, and knew everything (I assume that includes quantum theory and advanced neurology), so my comments are moot to most Disneyworld Christians.

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The problem with this is of course the gospels show that Jesus broke the sabbath


Being an atheist now, I entirely agree with you that Jesus was not a perfect guy. On the other hand, the Christian understanding of Jesus and the Sabbath is much more nuanced than you might realize. For him to "break" the Sabbath was a huge problem for the Pharisees, and was a large part of their anger towards him. But the Gospel accounts portray Jesus as having a different understanding of the place of the Sabbath. Instead of being a rigid divine commandment, the keeping of the Sabbath is presented by Jesus as merely beneficial to man. In this way he says that "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). It is given to man by God, but for the betterment of man, not the outright controlling nature of God.


This is indeed a very different understanding of the Sabbath than the OT presents, but it is the picture Jesus paints. Which helps to show why the OT and NT portrayals of God don't entirely line up. Hope this helps, and sorry to undermine anything you were trying to show!

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