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Was the death of Christ sin or sinful?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    I found this OP was too looonnngg and exceeded the limit of the BB. :(

    So, I have broken it into two groups.

    I present my thinking so that the good (and bad) of the BB may understand (though they may not agree) that this old man is not fully demented, though my wife calls me "crazy." :)

    Have a good read of a too long OP.

    _ _ _ _ _

    In the recent thread on "who killed Jesus," I made the statement that the death of Christ was not sinful and those who put him to death did not sin.

    I understand this is contrary to probably most on the BB.

    But, I thought it wise to lay out a bit of the reasoning for that thinking.

    As already mentioned on the other thread, there are Scriptures that teach the following:

    1) That it was God's direct purpose and command that the Son obeyed. Scriptures have been shared on the other thread that show this as fact.

    2) That the Son states no one could take His life from Him, He laid it down and took it up as the authority His Father had given Him to do. Again, the other thread show Scripture proof of this statement.

    3) Often God has, does and will use heathen folks to accomplish His purpose.

    Does that make the purpose or the action sinful? If it does then God is the author and instigator of sin. This is contrary to the character and nature of God.

    OT Scriptures show that God using heathen for His purpose is not unique or even a singular occasion. God does not sin, nor do those who are used by God to His purpose committing sin - though they may be sin filled. Nor does this mean that sin filled folks do not often run to excess and in that excess (going beyond the command of God) it is sinful. Just as Peter cutting off the ear in attempt to "contend for the faith" and would later "deny with an oath." These are examples of sin by going to excess (or beyond) the command.

    4) In EVERY statement made concerning assignment of blame, it is coupled with the resurrection.

    History declares that during this time there were quite a few who proclaimed them self or were proclaimed by others as the "messiah."

    Even the disciples of John the Baptizer were sent to ask and observe. Apparently, Jesus didn't fit exactly what John thought about the Messiah, and wanted to know if there was some other that needed the attention, instead.

    Therefore, all accounts present the fact of the crucifixion not as an assignment of blame, but contrasting just which of the many was the actual redeemer.

    5) Paul said,
    "...17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
    Now, I realize that this passage isn't directly related to the crucifixion, but it does bring out the aspect that one dies that they may live. In the broadest rendering, there is the same attainment given to Paul as was given to Christ. That of glorification - not through the flesh and law and sin - but through love and righteousness.
  2. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Part two of a too long OP:


    6) I suppose the most troubling aspect of the crucifixion is our own perspective of the inhuman death.

    Folks generally are not "blood thirsty" and public execution (or the death penalty) has been assigned as politically incorrect in a number of countries.

    However, the crucifixion is the ONLY way Christ could die and fulfill the prophecy - especially that picture given of Moses putting the serpent upon the pole. Was it sinful for Moses to put the serpent on the pole? No more than it was for Christ to be put on the pole, for the two are directly related. If one is sinful the other is sinful.

    7) It was pointed out in the other thread, that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." How does that apply to the cross of Christ? Was Christ unfaithful? Were the folks doing the crucifying being unfaithful to the direct purpose and demands of God?

    Sinful man doing the work of God does not make the work sinful. The work of God is always pure and righteous. The work God commands man to do is always pure and righteous.

    Often, humankind look upon the rough treatment and the "inhumane" death and make the determination that it is sinful, however in the case of the Crucifixion of Christ the Scriptures do not make that case. The principle of purity and righteousness obliges such to be applied even to those who plucked out His beard.

    8) I am not totally alone in my thinking. Often the poets of some of our great hymns have expressed similar thinking. Here are just three:

    Old Rugged Cross -
    "And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
    For a world of lost sinners was slain" (the whole song could be quoted!)

    When I survey the Wondrous Cross -
    "See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?"
    Old Rugged Cross -
    "So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it some day for a crown."
    Now I realize that it was Christ that is the focus of the poet. It is also true that the cross was not considered sin, nor the crucifixion sinful.

    The point being made by quoting a few well loved hymns is the disconnect of some folks who would proclaim the cross was sinful, yet willing to sing songs that agree to embrace it, cling to it, praise it, and depend upon it. Is that not embracing, clinging, praising, depending upon something completely sinful and inhumane?

    If one is going to make the argument that it isn't the cross, it is the people who were sinful. No problem. "All have sinned." I am the most guilty of sin.

    If one is going to make the argument that it is what the people did that was sinful. That is a problem - for then one is placing upon God's command the attribute of sin. And as has been pointed out by others - God cannot sin, nor are His commands unrighteous.

    9) This is a bold statement in which folks may strongly disagree, but it is my opinion and I haven't found Scriptures to disagree. I do not see any judgement for those who actually drove the nails, lifted and dropped the cross into place. Rather, I see Christ stating for the Father to forgive them, "they don't know what they are doing."

    Certainly, the humankind of that day were just as sin filled as the humankind of this day. Do we not all need forgiveness?

    Certainly, the death penalty took on other forms - stoning, stabbing, strangling, beheading... But only ONE was appointed to Christ by the prophets - crucifixion.

    Now there is another element that does need to be clarified.

    The Scriptures teach that humankind is not saved because they do not believe in Christ Jesus. (john 3).

    Acts shows this same principle:
    "13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses."

    and again in Acts:
    51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

    What then is the sin? Not the murder, not the betrayal, but resisting the Holy Spirit. In that sin the murder and betrayal were the results - not the cause but the effect.

    It is the same principle at work in every heart that manifests itself to righteousness and unrighteousness.

    Isaiah knew what I have presented here as the truth.

    He states that it was God's doing, and the generation of Christ's day were not considering what they did as sinful - nor was it: God caused the crucifixion - EVERY element and it pleased Him.

    53 Who has believed our message?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
    And like a root out of parched ground;
    He has no stately form or majesty
    That we should look upon Him,
    Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
    3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
    A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
    And like one from whom men hide their face
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
    And our sorrows He carried;
    Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
    Smitten of God, and afflicted.
    5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
    The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
    And by His scourging we are healed.
    6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
    Each of us has turned to his own way;
    But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
    To fall on Him.

    7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
    Yet He did not open His mouth;
    Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
    And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
    So He did not open His mouth.
    8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
    And as for His generation, who considered
    That He was cut off out of the land of the living
    For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
    9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
    Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
    Because He had done no violence,
    Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

    10 But the Lord was pleased
    To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
    If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
    He will see His offspring,
    He will prolong His days,
    And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
    11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
    He will see it and be satisfied;
    By His knowledge the Righteous One,
    My Servant, will justify the many,
    As He will bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
    And He will divide the booty with the strong;
    Because He poured out Himself to death,
    And was numbered with the transgressors;
    Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
    And interceded for the transgressors.
  3. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I think a better question would be, was it sin for Christ to lay down His life? God forbid.

    However, did those who murdered Christ sin in so doing? Without question.
  4. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011

    For your statement that Christ was murdered, there had to be two conditions met.

    First, did the humankind have that power?
    Second, did in fact they accomplish the goal?

    To the first condition, no Christ could not be murdered.
    He stated:
    "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

    As to the second condition, no they did not accomplish their goal.

    According to Paul:
    Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

    According to Isaiah:
    Because He poured out Himself to death,
    And was numbered with the transgressors;
    Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
    And interceded for the transgressors.
    So, Christ was not "murdered" but "gave Himself, a ransom for many.

    It is important to remember that sin fill humankind (believer's included) will (in the flesh) when doing the work of God become over zealous and run to excess.

    In the believer - that can become "legalism."

    In the unbeliever, it can be the scorning and ridicule endured by Christ on the Cross.

    Both (the believer and unbeliever) are sinning in that excess.

    But that doesn't mean that the cross and death were wrong - sin.
  5. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Hey Old Man, why do you think the wrath was coming down on these folks? Think maybe there could have been some sin involved somewhere along the way that incurred the wrath of God?:

    14 For ye, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus: for ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they did of the Jews;
    15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and pleased not God, and are contrary to all men;
    16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always: but the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. 1 Thess 2

    23 Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people.
    32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished. Lu 21
    #5 kyredneck, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2013
  6. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011

    I like the NASB version (not that it makes a huge difference in rendering but does present the information a bit clearer to me).
    13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.
    Now I have put in bold a greater part of this passage. But it shows a couple important items.

    First, the work of God is performed through His word, and that it will bring suffering.

    Second, the suffering is from or by BOTH the gentiles and Jews.

    Such folks are not pleasing to God, but are displaying the animosity toward the believer and even to each other ("to all men").

    Is it not true that God stores up the "bowls of wrath" to pour out upon all the ungodly at a time of His choosing?

    This is important: The wrath is not JUST to the Jews, but to all unbelievers.

    Often folks miss that the Thessalonians were persecuted by their own countrymen, just as Paul was both the persecutor and persecuted by his own countrymen.
  7. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    In Luke 21, two threads of thought that run parallel and unconnected.

    That which will happen with the destruction of Jerusalem (which took place during "that generation" and that of the tribulation and return of Christ which will happen.

    One must be careful to keep an eye upon which question Christ is answering to that posed by the disciples:
    7 They questioned Him, saying, (1) “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And (2) what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

    In answering, Christ FIRST regards what is and continued to happen through the first century (remember John in his letters states the same problem that some claimed concerning Christ).

    8 And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.
    Then Christ gives a sort of time line:
    9 When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.”
    (BTW - this verse alone would refute the Preterist view)
    10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven."
    This is as it has been throughout history, but with the mass media seems to be escalating - whether in fact such is escalating and not just a phenomena of world wide immediate news cycle is yet to be determined (in my opinion). However, only in the last century has the conflicts been world wide, and hugely destructive of not just armies but of civilians, too.

    Then Christ says that a number of things happen BEFORE that which He just said would take place in the future.
    12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives."

    This is one of the most puzzling prophetic statements! How can there be such physical hurt and martyrdom and yet "not a hair of your head will perish?" The answer is found in the new body - Nothing done here can impact that wonder that is to be like Christ!

    One of the greatest evidences of the true believers is the continual martyrdom from Christ to this present time - and will continue. Truly, the believer is no friend to the world or the world system, and we should expect only the Love of Christ shed in our hearts to carry us.

    Now, look at the prophecy concerning the city of Jerusalem that did occur when Roman armies took up siege against her.
    20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled."
    Accounts tell us that famine and horrible hygiene left more dead than the armies of Rome. Just as Christ states:
    23 "Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

    Now when will the "times of the Gentiles" be fulfilled? In my view, it happens when God decides to bring Israel back as the prophets stated.

    In 1967, the Jews gained total authority over Jerusalem (even the temple mount). No longer is Jerusalem "trampled under foot by the Gentiles." The "times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" according to the words of Christ at that point in time (1967)

    So it is now:

    25 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
    Please notice that there isn't any break here, but I have made one to emphasize that the next part is applicable to the period of time just BEFORE the RETURN of Christ and not contemporary with immediately after his ascension or at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem or at the time of the Gentiles.
    28 But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
    Christ knows that there must have been confusion at His words, so like any great teacher, it was time for an illustration.
    29 Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.
    I am reminded of two points:

    First, the great prayer example that Jesus gave includes "Thy kingdom come" - another validation of a literal millennial reign.
    Second - "My kingdom is not of this world - if it were my servants would fight" - this does not exclude that the Revelation shows that one day the believers will descend with Christ, there will be a battle, and He will rule and so shall we - it just wasn't in the time of the gentiles nor of the earthly ministry of Christ.

    To that, Christ sums up with the following:
    32 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
    It doesn't mean that all the above had to take place from the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem to the return took place in John's lifetime (John being the last of the generation of the apostles).

    Rather, the verse is connected to the end of the time of the gentiles - that when the last generation of the gentiles occurs all the prophecy concerning the time of the gentiles will have taken place and God's kingdom on earth WILL appear.
    34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

    BOTH the apostles and the Gentile believers are given ample warning, and are to be encouraged nor discouraged (I'll leave out the "sermon" on intoxicants).

    The believer is to be in a state of readiness, and reliance upon the providence of God.

    Kyredneck, I know we may disagree about the sequence of the future, but as you can see by Luke's account there isn't really support for placing judgment as sin committed by the crucifixion solely upon the Jews.

    That is why I posted the whole chapter and tried to make little emphasis points along the way.

    When you selected and tried to connect the verses, without the before, between and following verses, it no doubt can result in your assumption. However, contextually the assumption is inaccurate.
  8. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    These are arbitrary conditions. What makes an act a murder is the heart of the murderer. One can bear ill will toward another without any outward act of aggression, and in one's heart, murder that individual—and it's real murder, not imagined.

    But, to answer your question. Did humankind have that power? Christ confessed that man had that power, and He identified the source of that power. Christ, as man, touched with the feeling of our weaknesses, was weak enough to be murdered.

    Did they accomplish the goal? Of course, with one caveat, and that is, that God sent them.

    But then, God has sent every evil that confronts a man. As you profoundly stated in another thread, God has always had the keys of death, and if a sparrow doesn't fall to the ground without Him, how much more does a man not fall victim with out Him?

    Christ was murdered. He was not spared.
  9. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011

    This contrary to the statement given by Christ?

    "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."
    Or do you consider that Christ was so "weak" that He could pass through a crowd, walk on water, calm the stormy sea, and cause the tree to wither in one night, yet not prevent mere man from murdering Him?

    I agree that nothing occurs that God is not completely aware. He knows the thoughts of humankind before they are thunk.

    Also, remember that Paul states that the heart of the ruler is in God's hands and He will turn it to whatever purpose He chooses. The cries to "crucify him" ringing in Pilate's ears (in my view) were what drove him to turn Jesus over to his guard for crucifixion. The writing of the tablet hanging above Christ on the Cross certainly expressed Pilate's statement of scorn, but was never-the-less the truth.

    Look at the statement of God in this heathen mouth.

    49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
  10. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    He became weak enough to die. I don't understand your difficulty with the concept. His foot was never dashed not because His feet were impervious to stones, but because His Father bore Him up lest it were to happen. His bones were never broken not because men could not break them, but because His Father never suffered it.

    In every way, He was made like unto His brethren according to the flesh.

    So when the Father willed it, He sent Christ's brothers to betray murder Him. He was murdered. That's what Stephen said speaking by the Holy Ghost.

    That's all I have to say about it.:godisgood: