Saturday, June 14, 2014

Jesus' doubts

Did Jesus doubt God when he was on the cross? That's a question from a reader that Billy Graham tries to answer.
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Did Jesus think God had abandoned him when he was crucified? I’ve never really understood why Jesus thought God had forsaken him, and I wondered about it again this Easter. Was Jesus doubting God? — K.R.
Yes, it sure sounds like Jesus was doubting what God was allowing to happen.
DEAR K.R.: You’re referring to what was almost Jesus’ last statement during his crucifixion, perhaps only minutes before his death. His body had been nailed to a rough wooden cross, and undoubtedly he was enduring almost unimaginable pain. The Bible says he “cried out in a loud voice… ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34). No, Jesus wasn’t doubting God; he still referred to him as “My God.”
Ah, Billy just loves to miss the point. The question wasn't if Jesus was doubting God's existence. Rather, he's doubting God in a different way. In this case, his plan and what he was allowing to happen to him. Jesus was doubting God's judgement and protection. It's not surprising to hear Jesus ask God why he had forsaken him, since he not long prior to the crucifixion asked God to remove that burden from him when he was in the garden. Jesus was having second thoughts about God's plan.
But Jesus was shrinking back from the horror he was about to experience, a horror you and I can barely imagine. Remember: Jesus was completely innocent, not just of the sin he was accused of committing that led to his condemnation by Pilate, but of all sin.

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You see, the thing is that if you go by the Christian rules for sin, Jesus wasn't free of sin. First there's the original sin that everyone is supposedly born with. Then there's thought crime. It is said that lust is a sin, because you've committed adultery in your heart. Ridiculous, I know. But Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. In that time he would have hungered for food. If we draw an equivalency to lusting = adultery, then hungering for food would equate to gluttony by the same standard... So there's 'sin' there. One of the seven deadly sins no less.

Jesus tell people to hate their family and leave the dead to bury the dead. Is disrespect a sin? The Bible commands the stoning to death of disobedient children, so I'd count that as sin. What about anger? Jesus curses an out of season fig tree for not bearing fruit. He subsequently kills the tree for this. I'm going to allow the tree death, as that wouldn't count as murder. But there's some serious anger problems there. And that anger is further highlighted when Jesus throws the money changes out of the temple, complete with flipping over of tables and destruction of property. Yet more sins.

The Bible also condemns all forms of magic. If that's the case, walking on water, healing the sick, turning water into wine, and multiplying the loaves and fishes were all sinful acts. Then you have Jesus doubting God's plan right before his 'death'. Jesus doesn't sound very sinless at all!
On the cross, all our sins were transferred to him, and he was about to take upon himself the judgment that you and I deserve for our sins.

What would that mean? First, it would mean that Jesus would be separated from God, his father. The unbroken fellowship that he had enjoyed with God from all eternity was about to be shattered, for sin cannot exist in God’s holy presence. Second, Jesus was about to endure God’s judgment against sin, the judgment of hell that you and I deserve.
There's another problem with this plan, other than Jesus not being without sin. He also didn't do what Christianity says he did. And that's just by going by their own book! By reading the Bible, it is clear that Jesus did not take on ever sin and pay the penalty for them. The proof is right there in the Bible. 

The penalty for sin is eternal torment in Hell. That means, Hell, torture and burning forever... But Jesus was only dead for three days. Three days vs eternity is not a trivial difference at all. At best he went to Hell for those three days (though the Bible never mentions this), and then said screw this, I'm going home. After all, after the resurrection, Jesus does not go back to Hell to stay there forever in payment for the sins of all. Rather, he goes straight home to Heaven. In short, the Bibles promise is shown to be unfulfilled by the Bible itself!

And a final note... What is with the self loathing? "The judgment of hell that you and I deserve." Why is it that a religion that so many will tell you is about hope is also so hung up on also saying that everyone is always deserving of burning in Hell forever? Even those that have done nothing wrong are said to deserve this fate as well. How fundamentally sick!

So what we have here is a religion that claims to be about hope that tells a story of a sinless man that paid the price for all, yet a reading of the Bible shows this to be a story of a man with sin that blows off his planned martyrdom that is told by a religion that at it's core devalues life and peoples worth...

-Brain Hulk

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