Jesus' Death and Salvation

I know in Christianity that through Jesus’s death mankind is saved. Could someone explain to me why this is. What was it about his death that allowed man to be saved? Was it necessary for Jesus to die for man to be saved? Why was it necessary? What is meant by saved? Do the reasons change from one Christian group to another.

Thanks for any help.

In the beginning Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and became knowledgable of the difference between good and evil. This is referred to as “the fall”. Because of what Adam and Eve did we are all sinners. We can’t help it and no matter how good we try to be we are sinners. Since we cannot earn the right to go to heaven, there is only one hope and that is the “Grace of God”. Now comes a paradox since God so loved us that He sent His only son to save us. However, He required that His son die for the sins all of us commit. For some reason that only applied to sins committed after Jesus died on the cross and those (with a few exceptions*) sins committed before Jesus died were not forgiven. Those souls are in a place called limbo, which isn’t hell but isn’t heaven either.

  • Adam and Eve are among these exceptions.


I believe you are wrong about the pre-Jesus folks. They were saved, too. In fact, we were told that during the 3 days Jesus was “dead”, he “descended into hell [limbo, really]” and brought those poor folks up to heaven. And, according to Catholic teachings, only the “venal” sins were forgiven. If you die with a “mortal” sin that has not been confessed, then NO HEAVEN FOR YOU! And, you still have to do some time in limbo before you go to heaven even if you don’t have any [unconfessed] mortal sins on your slate. We used to do little acts of “indulgence” in catholic schools that took time off your limbo sentence. It’s all very complicated…

I guess, I want to know why Jesus dying allowed people to be saved. What was the process, which the death Jesus was a part, that allows people to be saved? How is original sin effected by the death of Jesus?

Is this addressed in the Bible? What passages?

The probelm I have with patriarchal religions is they dictate that only a man could save everyone – including women. Women are put into a subordinate role of being saved by the man, and that is just so dark-ages.

Would it make you feel better to know that in the OT, a sin-offering (which, in effect, atoned for sins) almost always had to be a female animal?

Zev Steinhardt

Here’s a related question that I never thought about before.

In the Christian religion, no one got into heaven until the Messiah (Jesus) died for our sins. Did this originate in Jewish tradition, or was it an after the fact idea in Christianity? In other words, do Jews today still think they don’t get directly into heaven, but must wait for the Messiah?

Then it’s not like the sacrifice really has a choice or a voice in this matter. Doesn’t it bother you that alot of male priests decide that sin will be symbolized by the female, and the men will be in charge of killing one to make things nice?

OT religion was launched by God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son – a male. and then when the son was spared, what did Abraham sacrfice instead? It was a ram (male) wasn’t it? So the whole thing begins with the idea that its men who have to save us, and ends up sacrificing the females because they represent “sin.” Hmmph.


Except that I don’t believe that the “male priests” made that rule.

But Abraham’s “sacrifice” had nothing to do with sin and saving. Not all sacrifices (in fact, the minority of sacrifices that were offered in the Temple) had anything to do with sin or “being saved” (which is a concept that does not occur in Judaism anyway).

Zev Steinhardt

No, this is not a Jewish concept. Judaism teaches that a person goes to their eternal reward upon death.

The messiah is going to be primarily a political one (the return of the Jews to Israel, the re-establishment of the Temple, etc.) While the messiah will be a religious leader, he will not have any direct bearing on an individual’s entry into heaven.

Zev Steinhardt

Wait, doesn’t that mean that being an atonement-offering is an equal-opportunity job? Male ram, female intermediate sacrifices, male christ: it appears that both genders can get sacrificed pretty easily. Though if the topic turns to general gender equality in patriarchal religion, I’ll backtrack in a tearing hurry.

Can we stick to the subject of the OP please.

Just a final comment on begbert2’s question:

There are many different types of sacrifices that were offered in the Temple. Some could only be male, some only female, and some could be of any gender.

In any event, out of respect to the OP’s wishes, I will refrain from further answers regarding sacrifices in the Temple (unless they touch upon the OP’s topic.)

Zev Steinhardt

Sorry about the hijack; in recompense, here’s what I’ve heard on the subject (Mormon background):

Jesus’s death had four distinctions that made it unique, regarding being of savior-quality:

  1. He was the literal son of God (presumably this is important).

  2. He had not ever sinned before, therefore being a pure sacrifice.

  3. At the garden of Gethsemene, he acquired the (unearned) experience of all earthly pains (except one) which for most people would be the well-deserved penance for their sins on earth.

  4. On Calgary(sp) he died excrutiatingly, with betrayal and all, filling out the catalogue of earthly pains.

Therefore, he is THE non-sinner who has paid penance for all the sins of the world. Note that this only redeems the sins of mankind; ressurection/eternal life was a separate thing, gained by his ressurection, which he could pull off 'cause he’s the literal son of God. Presumably since he did it, now we can all do it.

Hope that helps.

I know that LDS is predicated on the belief that Jesus appeared on the North American continent, but I think you mean Calvary, not Calgary (the city in Canada), correct?

Zev Steinhardt

As you like (I think i called my own (sp)elling into question on that).

Okay, Zev’s “hijack” is actually not one, on the “substitutionary atonement” model for how Jesus’s death brought salvation. Short explication of that follows:

First, since A&E sinned, all mankind has been brought into the world and raised by sinners, and hence cannot escape the taint of this ‘original sin.’ (Theologians discoursing on “original sin” are amazingly opaque, even compared to their normal writings, but suffice it to say that whatever it is, it’s inherent in being human since the Fall, so nobody can escape it – and it taints one so that “actual sin” is inevitable, so God is just in judging by it.)

Second, by God’s covenant with Abraham and later with the Jews, He established sacrifice as the means of atoning for sin. His rules, His decision as to what the escape clause is; don’t argue it, okay?

Third, since every individual man (and woman) carries upon him/herself the burden of the sins he/she commits and the taint of original sin, forgiveness for all is impossible by a single act, unless it is God who commits that act. But it must be man who atones for man’s sins.

Therefore, God the Son took on human form, and became truly God and truly man in one Person, so that He might take upon Himself all the sins of the whole world and atone for them through His self-sacrifice, giving Himself up to be crucified. Only in this way could God’s mercy in forgiving sin and His justice in meting out the punishment proper for it be reconciled.

There are other understandings of the Atonement. In particular, one that has some acceptance is that sin inevitably causes a separation between God and man – it’s the essence of sin that it be that; the individual sins are only instances of how that wedge between God and man is driven in. But Christ unites man and God in one through His Incarnation, and through His sacrifice of Himself reconciles God and man, for both died on the Cross. By His Resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit He provides a new life in which man has access to union with Him and through Him with the Triune God.

Are you disagreeing with the “male” or the “priest” part?
Maybe what you are saying it that the law was handed down by a (male, patriarchal) god to his (male, patriarchal) prophets. Either way, its a male-dominated religion.

But I am seeing two patriarchal religions, Judaism and Christianity, getting their starting points with the sacrifice (real or intended) of the male.
Also, if I read you correctly, you say the minority of sacrifices offered in the Temple had anything to do with sin – and these are the sin offerings you cited as bieng of female animals. That is, female minority and without much of a say in the matter.

Boy, you’re willing to take anything I say and twist it to fit your agenda.

In any event, I promised the OP that I wouldn’t hijack his thread any further. If you would like to continue this, please open up another thread. I’ll be more than happy to respond to the best of my abilities.

Zev Steinhardt

This might be a slight hi-jack, and if it is, I’m sorry, but is it possible that although God is/was all knowing and all powerful, he was not that sure about this “free will” thing he bestowed upon his humans. I mean, all through out the OT, it is fire and brimestone and death all around and he was destroying city after city trying to get us humans to straighten up, and then he decides to see what it is all about and he comes down in human form with human emotions and frailties and decides that although we are sinners at times, we are pretty good folks and should be allowed into Heaven, if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and, heck, he was even going to lead the way! Rather simple thinking, I know, but different tone between the OT and the NT is so extreme.