Something Christians Can't Grasp About The Crucifixion

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Something Christians Can't Grasp About The Crucifixion

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Christians regularly proclaim that Jesus' Crucifixion is the greatest act of kindness ever, a divine act of supreme sacrifice that redeems all of humanity. Much like just about every other aspect of christianity, this idea goes unexamined. Well, that's what I'm here for!

The big issue, aside from the troublesome human sacrifice issue (rather beautifully demolished by Sam Harris at the end of this video here), is that it wasn't actually a sacrifice. You see, sacrifice (n.), when defined by thefreedictionary.com, is one of the following:

1. a. The act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage, especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or a person.b. A victim offered in this way.2. a. Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.b. Something so forfeited.3. a. Relinquishment of something at less than its presumed value.b. Something so relinquished.c. A loss so sustained.

 

Under which definition can Jesus' actions be accurately defined as a sacrifice? Let's go through each of these 3 definitions.



1:

Jesus was the god to which the sacrifice was being made. As such, if we are to believe Jesus was sacrificed, or was the sacrifice, we're saying either that Jesus was given to himself which is a contradiction of terms, or that he, a god, was killed to appease the only god in existence, another contradiction of terms.


2:

Jesus did not forfeit anything of value. Jesus' human form was even less worthwhile than a regular human form, because, as seen in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, and other passages, Jesus was able to resume human form shortly after his death. We have only one life, meaning our bodies are quite valuable, Jesus can raise himself as much as he wants, and when he's tired of it, he can go back to ruling heaven. It's akin to you or I playing Achievement Unlocked. You can't die no matter how often you die in that game, so one elephant life isn't worth anything. Jesus essentially traded up. He left his flawed human form to be permanently in heaven with the rest of the trinity.


3:

Human bodies are all but worthless in christianity, and the salvation of all people is the single greatest thing ever. Destroying a human body for the salvation of all other humans doesn't really count as getting rid of something for less than what it's worth.

 

So christians, how exactly does the crucifixion a great sacrifice?


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What atheists can't grasp about the cricifixion

 

First of all they were stripped naked. Then...

A person crucified in Jesus’ day was first of all scourged (beaten with a whip consisting of thongs with pieces of metal or bone attached to the end) or at least flogged until the blood flowed. This was not done just out of cruelty but was designed to hasten death and lessen the terrible ordeal. After the beating, the victim was forced to bear the crossbeam to the execution site in order to signify that life was already over and to break the will to live. A tablet detailing the crime(s) was often placed around the criminal’s neck and then fastened to the cross. At the site the prisoner was often tied (the normal method) or nailed (if a quicker death was desired) to the crossbeam. The nail would be driven through the wrist rather than the palm, since the smaller bones of the hand could not support the weight of the body. The beam with the body was then lifted and tied to the already affixed upright pole. Pins or a small wooden block were placed halfway up to provide a seat for the body lest the nails tear open the wounds or the ropes force the arms from their sockets. Finally the feet were tied or nailed to the post. Death was caused by the loss of blood circulation and coronary failure. Especially if the victims were tied, it could take days of hideous pain as the extremities turned slowly gangrenous; so often the soldiers would break the victims legs with a club, causing massive shock and a quick death. Such deaths were usually done in public places, and the body was left to rot for days, with carrion birds allowed to degrade the corpse further.

Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., Butler, T. C., & Latta, B. (2003). Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (368–369). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

 

Ben, you watch your child go through something like this and then tell me it's not a sacrifice. (Even if you know they are going to be alright eventually.) Or you go through it and then have the one person who has ever truly loved you turn their back in disdain because you are covered with something on which they cannot stand to look. Then tell us it's not a sacrifice.


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it depends on the

it depends on the interpretation, if jesus is god in the flesh then it means nothing at all, there is no sacrifice because in the end he ends up alive and well with nothing sacrificed. Even is jesus isn't god in the flesh but the supposed son of god (an not god as many other christians interpret the bible as saying) then still he doesn't lose his life, where is the sacrifice?


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The sacrifice is the pain

latinCunuk wrote:

there is no sacrifice because in the end he ends up alive and well with nothing sacrificed.

 

Above is the human definition of "sacrifice", and it does not say that the scrifice has to be life.   The sacrifice is the pain and suffering that He went through. He gave up His dignity, His authority, His blood.  As I have said, you go through it, then claim, "Eh no big deal!"  The crucifixion was the payment for our sins. Payment, or punishment doesn't have to mean the same as the human definition of sacrifice. Any convict in prison will tell you it is a sacrifice, even though he may get out, "Keep his life", as you put it.   But then again, Jesus did give up his life. Just because He has the authority to reclaim it, doesn't mean that it was not given up. 

If you're going to play this game, the "well if it really happened then it didn't matter anyway" game, then you have to take into account that "if it happened", then He did die.


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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Well, thank you for the history lesson joe. Trouble is that it is not very accurate. At least you cited the source you copy pasted from, so we know that they are really biased to one version.

 

There were many types of gibbet used for the purpose. Some were a simple vertical pole or even a living tree. Some were shaped like the letter T. Some came in a X shape. There are even accounts of people being nailed to doors.

 

If a seat was used, it often had a wooden spike in the middle so that it was nearly impossible for the condemned to sit without being in quite a bit of pain from that as well. Sometimes, in place of the seat, there would be a bit of wood for the condemned to stand on. When that was done, the arms did not dislocate but the body weight would make it hard to breath unless the condemned struggled to stand upright. Eventually, the effort was so fatiguing that the condemned would lose strength and asphyxiation would end the matter shortly there after.

 

The bit about leg breaking is accurate or alternatively piercing the body with a spear could also hasten death. A third way to make the ordeal quick was to take the support out altogether. Then, as above with the foot support, the condemned would asphyxiate in a matter of minutes.

 

In any case, none of that addresses the basic concern at hand.

 

Basically, if you knew that you just had to stand around for a couple of hours and then you would be as right as rain a few days later, then there is no sacrifice of note.

 

Of course if you buy into the trinitarian argument, the he sacrificed himself to himself when there were two other copies of himself on file for backup. Mind you, the trinitarians don't show up for around 300 years. That was in major part a compromise in order to get differing factions together.

 

I understand that some folks believe that he went to hell for those few days. Really? God in hell? He is god and he can presumably do anything he feels like, including not get tortured (which begs the question of what the deal with the crucifixion was about in the first place). He is God and he is in hell, what can come from that? Especially if he knows that he is going home after a few days. Was he slumming or something?

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Nice strawman

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

In any case, none of that addresses the basic concern at hand.

Basically, if you knew that you just had to stand around for a couple of hours and then you would be as right as rain a few days later, then there is no sacrifice of note.

 

This is what I find so funny about this website. You equate being crucified, as describe above, with "standing around for a few hours", and you think you have made some sort of point.  That doesn't sound like a  "rational" argument to me.

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Of course if you buy into the trinitarian argument, the he sacrificed himself to himself when there were two other copies of himself on file for backup. Mind you, the trinitarians don't show up for around 300 years. That was in major part a compromise in order to get differing factions together.

 

This portion of your argument doesn't matter. Whatever His motives were, it does not matter if we understand them or not. And as for having copies, there again,  does not matter how many copies there are if Jesus is suffering through crucifixion . If you were going through it, would you be able to say, "Eh, no sacrifice here, no blood or pain here, cuz my brother's at home. No biggie."  That is really a lame argument against the sacrifice Jesus made.

 


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Did he lose anything? Nope,

Did he lose anything? Nope, he never gave up anything really, according to the bible he didn't lose anything, it more or less just sacrificing nothing, just time, and god died? jesus died? the dead don't come back to life after 3 days, that's part of the myth part. Even if he did "die" jesus goes to heaven in any event, still the fact remains in the bible, he comes back to life (no lose of life) and goes to heaven, what was the sacrifice really? What was so given up for the so called sin of man? Nothing but 3 days of rest and some torture of what 2 days? There was no sacrifice, not some GREAT sacrifice as christians want everyone to believe. It is in the end a load of crap that there was a this great sacrifice, that god sacrificed himself to himself to forgive us for his mistakes. It makes zero logical sense.

 

(edit) Even with your definition of sacrifice, what is jesus god in the flesh or not? If he then there is no father figured looking at him being tortured, even if there is, the end result is already known that he will come back to life, god does know everything according to many christians, therefore what was sacrificed? Nothing at all.


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joe_2007 wrote:Above is the

joe_2007 wrote:

Above is the human definition of "sacrifice", and it does not say that the scrifice has to be life.  

You are right, however NOTHING WAS SACRIFICED, what did jesus give up, nothing, he had it all back after 3 days, therefore NOTHING SACRIFICED. It is not really a hard concept to understand, except to those which decide to change the meaning of the word. You trying to make it seem jesus gave something up and never got it back.... so what was that thing he gave up that he never got back? If he got anything back (which in this case his life and his position in heaven) then nothing was sacrificed at all.


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The whole point is missed

The whole point is missed here.  You have to buy so much BS to come to this point, that really, taking the "sacrifice" step is insignificant in comparison.  This is what the argument sounds like to me.  Bleshbabal did not sacrifice anything when giving up his life because Greshbaball which is also Blehsbaball just resurrected himself.  The point is, if you already believe that Bleshbaball and Greshbaball are one and they posses all the omni-X attributes... I mean you can also throw in that Bleshbaball can fart Cumbaya in E minor.  It really is a moot point. 

 

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Joe

joe_2007 wrote:

 

This is what I find so funny about this website. You equate being crucified, as describe above, with "standing around for a few hours", and you think you have made some sort of point.  That doesn't sound like a  "rational" argument to me.

 

 

Is this seriously what's so funny with this website? Who are you to call our assertions irrational?

If jesus was god, an eternal, immortal omni-thingy with supreme powers, do you really think he actually died? How does that assertion take flight?

And is the crucifixion of this god-man the worst death ever? Can you prove this using testable explanation or are your assertions all nude?

How does whipping and hanging compare to being badly burned back in the days before morphine? And just hanging on for weeks in agony with your body fluids leaking through your dermis. 

I would agree to be scourged and crucified if it meant billions and billions of other people would live for all eternity and I'm just some nobody with nothing to recommend him. 

Tell me you would not give your life to save all humans who'd ever lived, Flash Gordon. Of course you would. You would not even think twice about it. 

 

 

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joe_2007 wrote: This portion

joe_2007 wrote:

This portion of your argument doesn't matter. Whatever His motives were, it does not matter if we understand them or not. And as for having copies, there again,  does not matter how many copies there are if Jesus is suffering through crucifixion . If you were going through it, would you be able to say, "Eh, no sacrifice here, no blood or pain here, cuz my brother's at home. No biggie."  That is really a lame argument against the sacrifice Jesus made.

 

 

 

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joe_2007 wrote: First of

joe_2007 wrote:

 

First of all they were stripped naked. Then...

A person crucified in Jesus’ day was first of all scourged (beaten with a whip consisting of thongs with pieces of metal or bone attached to the end) or at least flogged until the blood flowed. This was not done just out of cruelty but was designed to hasten death and lessen the terrible ordeal. After the beating, the victim was forced to bear the crossbeam to the execution site in order to signify that life was already over and to break the will to live. A tablet detailing the crime(s) was often placed around the criminal’s neck and then fastened to the cross. At the site the prisoner was often tied (the normal method) or nailed (if a quicker death was desired) to the crossbeam. The nail would be driven through the wrist rather than the palm, since the smaller bones of the hand could not support the weight of the body. The beam with the body was then lifted and tied to the already affixed upright pole. Pins or a small wooden block were placed halfway up to provide a seat for the body lest the nails tear open the wounds or the ropes force the arms from their sockets. Finally the feet were tied or nailed to the post. Death was caused by the loss of blood circulation and coronary failure. Especially if the victims were tied, it could take days of hideous pain as the extremities turned slowly gangrenous; so often the soldiers would break the victims legs with a club, causing massive shock and a quick death. Such deaths were usually done in public places, and the body was left to rot for days, with carrion birds allowed to degrade the corpse further.

Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., Butler, T. C., & Latta, B. (2003). Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (368–369). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

 

Ben, you watch your child go through something like this and then tell me it's not a sacrifice. (Even if you know they are going to be alright eventually.) Or you go through it and then have the one person who has ever truly loved you turn their back in disdain because you are covered with something on which they cannot stand to look. Then tell us it's not a sacrifice.

If I had a kid and he or she went through that, it would be tragic. But a sacrifice? Do you even know what a sacrifice is? Just because he went through pain doesn't mean it's a sacrifice. HE IS A GOD. Pain is nothing to him.


 


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Being tortured, no matter

Being tortured, no matter how horribly, does not equate to sacrifice unless there is some greater evil being avoided as a pretty direct result of the action which resulted in the torture.

There is no evidence of any such benefit in the case of the Crucifixion, unless you already buy fully into the whole God/Heaven/Forgiveness story, for which there is no solid evidence either.

Even with that purported back story, it is still just a pointless and painful stunt, with an assumed infinitely wise and benevolent being the only one offended against by 'sin' as such. He would therefore merely have to decide to give us yet another chance to be let into heaven, no theatrics required, except to impress or frighten us.

The story is fully understandable in the context of the ancient idea of blood sacrifice to appease the angry gods, but of course it only 'works' in a psychological sense, to (at least temporarily, and hopefully) ease the fear of being at the mercy of some possibly pissed-off god.

It is slightly dressed-up version of a primitive, superstitious practice.

 

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I wonder if christians would

I wonder if christians would be so eager to display their leader's corpse if he'd been impaled instead of crucified.


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No it was not the "greatest

No it was not the "greatest act of kindness". Not that it happened or could happen.

The story, and that is all it is, disguises narcissism as sacrifice.

According to the bible and believers Jesus is STILL alive, if not in body, but still alive. So it wasn't like he threw himself on a grenade at Normandy to save a buddy from the Germans, to never live again, in any sense. What the Allies did and the people who died on those beaches WAS A SACRIFICE. Most of the names and eventually all of the names of those who died on those beaches will be forgotten. Most people cannot name one person who died on the beaches of Normandy.

Secondly, the end goal of God/himself/Jesus, isn't for our welfare. It is about ultimately getting people to kiss his ass. We know what happens to people who don't kiss his ass.

But even if one wants to claim the alleged "good intent" of this act, the problem is that we were not asked before we were born(if one is to go by this model for argument's sake ONLY) to be thrust into a life we had no say in being thrust into.

And how is it a third party has any right to tell me whom to forgive or not to forgive? That takes away my personal rights and my own mind. Forgiveness by itself is not a bad thing, but it is not the right of a third party to decide for me whom I forgive or don't forgive. So the motif of the Jesus story takes away the rights of the individual. It makes us puppets for his own self interest and glory. AS A CONCEPT AND CLAIMED STORY, not as a reality.

And on top of that it is one of many "do overs" in the bible. It is as if God is a child playing an x-box hitting the reset button every time he cant get his player to do what he wants.

The garden of Eden was supposed to be the shit, but we see in reading the bible that that failed. Then the flood was supposed to correct human behavior, and we read how that failed. The God clones himself and allows himself to be murdered to get humans who had no say in their existence to worship him, or face his wrath. And in the end of the book God finally picks up the x-box like a childish brat and smashes the entire damn thing and throws the game console into a fire.

The Jesus story is not an act of kindness. It is a manifesto of self serving marketing.

 

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latincanuck wrote:it depends

latincanuck wrote:

it depends on the interpretation, if jesus is god in the flesh then it means nothing at all, there is no sacrifice because in the end he ends up alive and well with nothing sacrificed. Even is jesus isn't god in the flesh but the supposed son of god (an not god as many other christians interpret the bible as saying) then still he doesn't lose his life, where is the sacrifice?

It's typical overarching by theists.

The crucifixion could only be a mere illusion, if Jesus was really part of the 'trinity' (whatever that means). By definition, he didn't die. Ipso facto, he didn't sacrifice his 'life'.

'Sacrificing' himself to himself, would merely represent self gratification, to a god, and emotionally manipulating his minions into sympathizing with Jesus.

The concept of pain and suffering by Jesus is simply 'projection' of what a mere human (without any omni attributes) suffers.

It just shows how malevolent this god would be, if he were real. In effect, he'd be punishing his son, for the actions and behaviors of those individuals who are exercising the full extent of their autonomy and 'free will' that was engineered into them.

It's a complete non sequitur.

Total self gratifying sadomasochism.

 

 

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redneF wrote:latincanuck

redneF wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

it depends on the interpretation, if jesus is god in the flesh then it means nothing at all, there is no sacrifice because in the end he ends up alive and well with nothing sacrificed. Even is jesus isn't god in the flesh but the supposed son of god (an not god as many other christians interpret the bible as saying) then still he doesn't lose his life, where is the sacrifice?

It's typical overarching by theists.

The crucifixion could only be a mere illusion, if Jesus was really part of the 'trinity' (whatever that means). By definition, he didn't die. Ipso facto, he didn't sacrifice his 'life'.

It would merely represent self gratification, to a god, and emotionally manipulating his minions into sympathizing with Jesus.

The concept of pain and suffering by Jesus is simply 'projection' of what a mere human (without any omni attributes) suffers.

It just shows how malevolent this god would be, if he were real. In effect, he'd be punishing his son, for the actions and behaviors of those individuals who are exercising the full extent of their autonomy and 'free will' that was engineered into them.

It's a complete non sequitur.

Total self gratifying sadomasochism.

 

 

If he didn't die then it wasn't a sacrifice, it was a parlor trick. I have tons of value for the names of the dead of Normandy whom I will never know. I have no value for a selfish prick out to make a name for himself.

 

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Antipatris wrote:I wonder if

Antipatris wrote:

I wonder if christians would be so eager to display their leader's corpse if he'd been impaled instead of crucified.

 

Depends on which end they impaled .........

 

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That event, if it happened

That event, if it happened as described - I mean the actual observed events, not the fantasies grafted onto it, like the skies darkening and the graves opening, and the motives read into it by the later generations of believers - not only did not benefit anyone at the time, it inspired one major line of believers to copy God's horrific examples and torture and burn at the stake quite a few people for the 'sin' of not accepting their story.

If some itinerant preacher was really deluded enough to go out of his way to get arrested by the local authorities to get himself crucified as some symbolic act of 'sacrifice', at least in his own deluded mind, then sure, getting tortured like that sucks.

But so does being burned alive or tortured "in his name"...

And it may have been a 'supreme act of love' in his mind. But that doesn't make the rest of the claims in the great Book of Lies true. Or prove, against all the evidence of History, that 'creating' Man with a disease and disability prone body, a limited mind, susceptible to all kinds of delusions and potentially destructive urges, with all these cute bacteria and viruses for company, all still around after the great 'event', was the act of a LOVING God, if he existed.

You have to be out of your f**king mind to buy that crap once you learn more about the world than you get from inside some 'faith' environment. And have the time to honestly check it out and think about all the contradictions, both internally and against what we independently have come to know about the nature of ourselves and the world we live in by centuries of careful study.

 

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Seriously lets be civil

  seriously guys lets be civil... sorry xtians yes I for one understand the theology behind it... basically Jesus/ God is special, the creator of the universe etc... so for him to sully himself in human form(if you believe in the [polytheistic] trinity concept) is already the sacrifice. That our (Your) heavenly father would even strip himself of his majesty and kindom and super powers (partially he could still heal sicknesses, walk on water[make delicious ribena at weddings] and shrivel/dry out plants that pissed him off), and also he became sick so we could be disease free, he became poor so that we could win the lottery(buying a ticket this weekend) etc.  These were already great examples of his sacrifice... literally by just being born.But the "fact?" is he then went and allowed himself to be crucified by us filthy sinners even tho he is almighty and righteous and we are basically shit compared to him... now do you atheist understand lol ..Ok now xtians the reasoning behind that is flawed, if he is God!! he is supposedly all powerfull (thats why he eventually ressurected right) so he is basically on the cross and is like ouch ..Owwww that hurst soooo bad, OMG like this is the worse day ever... im dead .... no im not lol no sacrifice no risk... the only thing you can accuse Jesus of is being a bargain hunter... because lets assume he spent  9 hours going thru pain (magical powers anesthetic anyone) pretends to be dead for 3 days, and then goes to heaven... meanwhile he does nothing for over 2 thousands and has pple praising him and defending him forever(until they die)... some things are priceless... for everything else there's  "The Masters" Card lol... cue Kanye west.. #Jesus walks lol  

 


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BenfromCanada wrote:If I had

BenfromCanada wrote:

If I had a kid and he or she went through that, it would be tragic. But a sacrifice? Do you even know what a sacrifice is? Just because he went through pain doesn't mean it's a sacrifice. HE IS A GOD. Pain is nothing to him. 

Is Jesus or his dad suffering from PTSD now? No. so it must not have been that bad.

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The 'theology' behind it

The 'theology' behind it just the intellectually bankrupt process of inventing a supernatural scenario to put the lipstick on the pig of the pile of superstitious nonsense that is Christianity.

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