Jesus gave up a weekend for our sins

Props to gobear for introducing me to this concept. I admit it’s made me think.

Essentially if the Trinitarian view is taken when discussing Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, then what we are dealing with is an omniscient God who knows that no matter how much pain is inflicted on him, it’s going to be temporary, and in a short time he’ll be alive, and then off to heaven.

So where is the extreme deprivation here? Many mere humans have suffered more and longer with plenty of doubt about the outcome of their lives and afterlives. What makes God as Man experiencing pain and death with resurrection following shortly after such a transforming and redeeming experience for so many Christians? Why is it seen by them as such a sacrifice?

Because they are told so? That’s a point I made many times in debates on this board. If I were 100% sure that I was going to live forever in bliss after it, I would sign up for cruxificion right now, especially if it had a beneficial impact on the rest of mankind. And I’m pretty certain a lot of people would do the same (remember the 100% certain part). It’s not such an extraordinary sacrifice.
Besides, indeed, there have been plenty of people, merely humans, not gods, who choose to face torture, death, etc… for a good cause, without such a belief or such a hope. IMO, they deserve way more respect and admiration than a god christ would.

Until now, the only answers I got when raising this point were that the extraordinary thing is that an all-powerful being choose to make himself a mere human (like us accepting to become a slug or a cockroach for a day, I suppose) , and a suffering one at that, just in order to save us (conveniently forgetting that we wouldn’t need to be saved if he hadn’t decided to punish us at the first place…but that’s another issue).

It’s an interesting concept. I expect you’ll be told that you don’t really understand the fact that Jesus was completely human as well as completely divine.

Damn straight. The true holy trinity is bribery (promise of heaven), threat of preposterously inhumane punishment (eternity in hell) and emotional blackmail (how can you not believe when Jesus DIED for your sins?).

Whenever I face any profound moral dillemma, I ask myself “What would Jesus REALLY want to do?” That way he has a chance to finally, really live — if only vicariously — through me. How disappointing then to find out that he’s secretly addicted to pornography.

I think the suffering of Christ in particular is so important because, supposedly, he’s a guy who did absolutely nothing to deserve it.

As I understand, one of the major themes of the Old Testament is that life is not human-centered; god’s actions are supposed to be part of a plan we can know nothing about. So a big theme of the OT is that humans can never to grasp the ways of the divine, and that trying to apply our own sense of logic and justice to godly actions is stupid and prideful. In other words, full submission requires some blind faith.

Book of Job works well here; this guy who lived a perfect life without sin suffers greatly, and the only answer he ever gets for this great injustice is a mysterious voice from the sky, saying that Job can never know the ways and the power of god, nor can he explain his suffering in human terms (ie- i must be suffering becuase I have done some evil.)

And jesus is the ultimate example of this; some guy who is supposedly born of a virgin and spends his life healing and teaching. There’s not even a taint of sin in his whole existence. So when he is brutally beaten and killed, it’s hugely important because there was no reason for it, whatsoever. Since he is a son of God and not man, he doesn’t even inherit the curse of original sin… there is absolutely no comprehensible reason why this man should die. That’s what makes him unique.

So I think the reason jesus’ suffering is supposed to be so meaningful is because he is the only completely pure human there ever was, and his suffering is, to us mere humans, unjust and inexplicable. It is therefore the most solid proof of incomprehensibility (and thus unreachability and supremity) of god.

Incomprehensibility = supremity? Wow, I’m set!

I could throw out the ususal atheistic arguments about why everything you said makes God a Big Jerk in my eyes, but I don’t think it would be anything anyone on the Straight Dope hasn’t already heard.

I think Christ’s innocence is irrelevant. I’m sure there are a host disorders that occur immediately after birth that cause incredible pain to the infant and are fatal. Like infant botulism or something. I understand the concept of Original Sin and how that infant was therefore inherently sinful, but come on… that kid didn’t have the chance to do anything.

So how is Christ any better than that kid? I contend that Christ still gets to live forever in heaven. That kid doesn’t. Wasn’t baptized and probably didn’t have time to accpet Jesus as his lord and savior.

I’m not trying to be antagonistic, but that’s incompatible with a just God as far as I can see.

My Sunday school teacher told us that when Jesus died on the cross, he was accepting blame as well as punishment. Blame you don’t deserve is a lot harder to bear that mere physical discomfort.

Really? My own personal experience belies that. I’ve shouldered undeserved blame, and while unpleasant, it was much less painful than that day sitting in the wreckage of an aircraft waiting for rescuers to get to me.

Certainly there was a reason for it. His actions angered people in power.

The original sin concept always escaped me too.

Sorry, I’ve seen too many others suffer unjust and inexplicable torment to buy that point. And as for incomprehensibility = unreachability and supremity, that reasoning seems suspect to me.

Let’s try using Occum’s (SP?) razor and ask ourselves what is more logical: that Mercotan’s typically convoluted mumbo jumbo actually makes sense or that it’s all nothing but the sort of desperate rationalization you hear from people trying to gull themselves into not seeing the obvious?

And, frankly, from where I sit, if God really exists then we’d better look into getting a restraining order. Talk about an abusive Father!

Oops. Sorry about that Mercotan. I meant rose. Yeesh.


Uh, what? He’s arguing against God, it seems. At any rate, everything he’s said has not really taken a strong position either way and has been of absolute clarity. And this is odd, because here–

–you seem to argue against the existence of God as well. So you’re in perfect agreement if I’m reading this all right.

Now I’M confused.

Ha. Now it makes a little more sense.

From the LDS POV (which, BTW, is not Trinitarian), Jesus made himself a sacrifice for sin. That is, he was sinless and suffered and was killed for our sins, so that we would not have to pay for them if we repent. This worked in several ways.

-He took on, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the pain and suffering of all sin. (This is, I understand, somewhat unique to LDS–that we focus so much on Gethsemane as well as the cross) This was an ‘infinite sacrifice’ – such a huge measure of suffering that it could not be measured and would simply not be bearable by any ordinary mortal who was not divine. He did this voluntarily, but reluctantly, because it wasn’t going to be any fun at all.

-He was then killed, because the sacrifice had to be of a life. Not just any life, but that of the Son of God, who is both human and divine. While on the cross, we believe, the full weight of that suffering he went through in Gethsemane came upon him again, and the sustaining presence of God the Father left him.

So, to the LDS, the scourging and so on is more of a mark of Jesus’ humility and willingness to do this out of love for us than the central part of the Atonement. The central part of the Atonement was the part where he took on all suffering, and was then sacrificed. No one else could have done it, physically or mentally. Sinlessless was not quite enough–as noted, babies and other innocents have died before (and the LDS do not accept the idea of original sin). Suffering was not enough, ‘simple’ crucifixion was not enough. It had to be God who voluntarily suffered everything and died without having broken any law or sinned.

Additionally, when Jesus went through this, he was not omniscient. That is, he was fully experiencing mortality and the veil which separates us from perfect knowledge of the Father operated on him as well. So while he did have a knowledge through faith that he would be fulfilling the sacrifice ordained to him, he still suffered the visceral fear anyone would on coming to that cross.

Since this is a somewhat flippant thread, I can’t say I’m very comfortable discussing this in depth. But I hope that gives you some idea of why we don’t see it as ‘giving up a weekend,’ something that many people might volunteer for.

Maybe it’s a guilt thing? Something like, “Jesus had to endure horrible suffering because YOU PERSONALLY, little Timmy Johnson there in the third row, have done bad, bad things.” Feelings of very personal guilt for what happened would probably cause people to attach a lot of importance to the suffering part.

This is just a guess, though. You want opinions on the Trinity, you shouldn’t have raised me Unitarian. :stuck_out_tongue:

Huh. Well, that makes sense. Is this really a uniquely LDS thing? Though it’s a bit less vivid and easy to imagine than physical punishment, it seems like it would make more sense theologically, since it’s something no one else would ever or could ever go through.


I don’t mean to be flippant in the least. Some questions for you.

Why did Jesus have to sacrifice himself in the first place for something I am not responsible for? I didn’t even have a shot at a perfect life, I was born sinful. Also, you say Jesus was not ominescent on Earth–did he know that he was, in effect, God? I must confess, I do not grasp the concept of the Trinity as well as I would like and you have noted that you do not follow a Trinitarian denomination so perhaps you are the wrong person to ask.

I think the “he suffered an infinite suffering” argument is the best one I have seen to date, but it is one I have not encountered in what used to be my denomination. Can anyone else verify this?

I too would like to hear more about the “infinite” aspect to the suffering. Including any biblical cites about said suffering being more than human suffering. I’m not sure that the assertion Jesus was both “man and god” automatically makes such suffering more than human. I’m not sure it wouldn’t, either.

And while my OP title may be a bit tongue in cheek, my interest in this is hardly “flippant”. I am interested in trying to understand what so many mainstream christians think about this.

The assumption is based on the observation that Jesus died on a Friday, and returned from the dead on the following Sunday. From this observation you have reached the conclusion that Jesus spent the exact temporal interval from late Friday, until early Sunday in Hell.

I find the mathematical assumptions to be highly humanocentric.

If it was necessary, or desirable for the Lord to return to the temporal coordinates on Earth that we would perceive as two days later, that necessity would not preclude the reality that Jesus spent eternity in Hell. Human limits don’t apply.


So, Tris. Did Jesus suffer for eternity? Is he suffering right now?