Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why I don't view the cross as punishment - part 2

I'm slow, I know. I've been occupied the last couple of weeks with holidays, work, and some other interesting discussions online. One interesting thing I've found to be true is that we do tend to read our presuppositions into language that we read or hear. Sometimes we even make jokes about such miscommunication, especially those between Husbands and Wives. But I'm beginning to see that it happens much more often that we recognize. As a recent example, in one online discussion, one person kept using the phrase 'deeds of the flesh', and it became apparent that his mind was translating that phrase to mean evil deeds of the flesh, rather than all deeds of the flesh. I know that's a bit like chasing a rabbit, but I thought it would be worth mention when we look as the Scriptural language of the Cross. We don't want to fall into that trap and read a presupposition into what it really says.

I said that I wanted to look at the Scriptural language of the Cross, so here are the verses that I have discovered that may be relevant to this discussion.

1 Cor 15:3, 1 Pe 3:18 both say that Christ died for our sins, but do not say that he was punished for our sins.

Colossians 1:15-23 Says that God reconciled all things to himself by making peace though his blood.

Romans 8:1-4 Is the closest thing in the New Testament to something sounding like punishment. Is says that God sent Christ in the likeness of sinful man as a sin offering, and so condemned sin in sinful man. But condemning, or putting to death sin or our sin nature is something far different than punishing an innocent for someone else's crime.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 God reconciled us to him. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 9:15 He died as a ransom.

Heb 9:22 all things are cleansed with blood; without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Aphesis - forgiveness, release from bondage, deliverance). Again this is not saying there is a need for punishment, but a need for cleansing and forgiveness.

Revelation 1:5b-6 To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Very interesting, Christ freed us from our sin by his blood.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Why I don't view the Cross as punishment - Part 1

I originally didn't intend part one to be this short. I've been working on a draft, and I keep tweaking, and thinking about what I want to say. But then it hit me...Duh...One of the reasons that I don't view the Cross as punishment is because of Athanasius. He was one of the earliest to write about the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, and not once does he say that Christ was punished by God for our sins. Rather He talks at length about how Christ destroys sin and death on the Cross.

You can read and English translation of his writing on the Incarnation here:

By the way if you don't know who Athanasius is, he is one of the key people who helped to determine the cannon of Scripture that we use today. He is considered the first to identify the 27 books of the New Testament.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

You've gotta read this

My second installment of my previous post is almost ready. In the mean time, you've gotta read this!:

Have your Kleenex ready!