Having been challenged with the Christian doctrine of vicarious atonement again, for myself a fact needs reiteration.
The christian teaching of Jesus dying for all our sins, being punished in our place, is a teaching of irresponsibility and injustice. The Jewish Bible’s teaching is that of personal responsibility, accountability and justice.
Let me summarize the main points so as not to take up the reader’s time (if anyone reads this … wait! I’m reading it! Oh, good then!).
The Hebrew Bible teaches personal responsibility with regards to actions, and therefore personal accountability, in that the person who does the crime must also own up to it and do what is necessary to restore and repair where possible (Deuteronomy 24:16; 30; Ezekiel 18). The responsibility for one’s own acts cannot be shifted. This is shown in the laws of offerings in the Torah where the owner brings his own property, a domesticated animal or even flour, and uses/forfeits his property in an act of restoration and submission to God to bring him close to God again. Although blood was sometimes an element used, the Torah spoke of returning to God from exile, where there can be no sacrifice, and choosing life and good in obedience (Deuteronomy 30, Leviticus 26). The rest of the Jewish Bible repeats the call to obedience, repentance and therefore personal accountability.
In the Jewish Bible, God doesn’t justify the wicked and condemn the righteous; the soul that sins is responsible and must make it right.
The christian teaching turns everything on its head. Now the emphasis of the story is now that God DOES punish the innocent person, supposedly Jesus, in the place of the wicked. Now the person responsible for the wrong doesn’t give from his own property and person to make things right, but rather God takes responsibility away from the person by using an innocent person, nobody’s property, so that a form of human sacrifice can ensue.
In the Torah, it is well understood that the innocent shouldn’t receive the punishment of the wicked, like when, in Genesis 18, Abraham pleads with God about Sodom saying “will you sweep away the innocent with the wicked?” God’s protestations to the Israelites falls on deaf ears when he states the judgment: “the soul that sins, it shall die!” Yet Jesus was supposedly “the innocent soul, it shall die” in contradiction to God’s justice.
Not only this, but rather than focus on and prefer obedience and repentance as God’s prophets emphasize, rather than shouting with Isaiah that blood profits you nothing without obedience to God (Isaiah 1), the christian goes the complete other direction. With no basis in the Jewish Bible (not even the sacrificial law), the christian states that God needs and demands blood do much, that he’ll even kill an innocent man to satisfy himself even in the absence of repentance at the time of the killing!
Instead of calling for obedience, the christian states that doing what God says doesn’t make you right (Romans 3:23), that we are incapable of doing what God says (Galatians 2:21), in contradiction to what God says (Deuteronomy 30:11-14), and therefore the christian cries out, not for obedience but for blood. So much emphasis is placed in blood that they make up an anti-Torah verse: without blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).
That’s how christians end up preaching injustice and praising the perversion of it, that God would actually desire and plan, after teaching the world that a man is responsible for his own deeds, and thus an innocent person will not get the punishment of the wicked, he would plan to turn that on its head and commit injustice to forgive sins.
Can we talk bluntly, you and I? Why, thank you!
Jesus was no lamb.
It’s that simple.
He wasn’t a goat or a bull or any other Torah ordained creature for offering. He was a man. And therefore, he was no sacrifice for sin for anyone at all, at all. The unjust death of a man is just that: an unjust death, not a ritual sacrifice.
Let me tie this off.
The death of Jesus offers you nothing, according to Torah. But God’s teachings of personal responsibility, accountability and repentance offers you a great deal.The death of the innocent is injustice. It doesn’t matter if the innocent person is willing or not, every person is responsible for one’s own sins, the good of the righteous remaining with him, and the bad of the wicked sticking to him.
The best thing a person can do is acknowledge wrong acts, ask for forgiveness and then do one’s best to do what is right. Then a person’s sins can be forgiven and forgotten.