Answering Skobac on sacrfice, part 1

You Can’t Have It Both Ways 

Christians usually react to this line of reasoning by protesting that it’s absurd to be so literal, and that Jesus’s death was more of a symbolic or spiritual sacrifice. This would be fine if the Bible provided for such ethereal offerings, but such is not the case. The New Testament, though, insists that Jesus was a real sacrifice, literally fulfilling the Biblical requirements.

An example is the Gospel of John’s account of Jesus’s crucifixion. In his narrative (19:33–36), the author of John relates that there was a request to break the legs of Jesus and two others who had been crucified on a Friday in order to hasten their deaths so they could be buried before the Sabbath.

But coming to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs… For these things were done in order that the Scripture should be fulfilled: not a bone of it shall be broken.

The Gospel of John (1:29) likens Jesus to the Passover lamb. According to Torah law, this sacrifice was not supposed to have any of its bones broken (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12). Since the author of John insists that Jesus was a literal sacrifice to the extent that the Biblical rules of the Passover had to be fulfilled by him, we can’t dismiss the problems cited above as legalistic nitpicking.

One wonders why the New Testament chose to type Jesus as a Paschal lamb. We know from Exodus 12 that the annual Passover sacrifice did not serve to atone for sin; it commemorated the exodus from Egypt. When the lamb was slaughtered in Egypt and its blood smeared on the doorposts, it did not serve to atone for the sins of anyone. It was a sign for the angel of death to pass over Jewish homes during the plague of the first-born. The only people in danger were first-born males. The blood wasn’t relevant to other people in the family and didn’t serve to atone for the first-born.

Another problem with using the Passover lamb as an archetype for Jesus’s sacrifice is that the Torah barred uncircumcised males from participating in the Passover ritual (Exodus 12:48).

However, historical Christianity, based upon the teachings of the Apostle Paul, did not advocate circumcision and actually derided the practice (Galatians 5:1–12). A more fitting prototype for Jesus would have been the Yom Kippur sacrifice, which atoned for the sins of all the people. It is noteworthy that according to Leviticus 16:10 and 21–22, the animal that effectuated the atonement for the sins of the nation was not killed – but sent live out into the desert. Again, according to the Biblical text, the shedding of blood is not a sine qua non for atonement.

———

Quoted from: You Turn! The Jewish Response to a Christian Challenge by Rabbi Michael Skobac. Published by Jews For Judaism.

My reply:

“We know from Exodus 12 that the annual Passover sacrifice did not serve to atone for sin; it commemorated the exodus from Egypt.”

It didn’t serve to atone for specific individual sins but it did atone for the people who otherwise would have been killed along with the Egyptians. The meaning of atonement includes propitiation or the turning away of the wrath of God which is what the death of the lamb and the sprinkling of it’s blood did for the Israelites.

“The only people in danger were first-born males. The blood wasn’t relevant to other people in the family and didn’t serve to atone for the first-born.”

This unfounded assumption is contradicted by the text of the passage itself:

“and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.”

If only the firstborn were at risk why were all people commanded to stay inside their houses until the morning? The only reasonable conclusion is that anyone who stepped outside the house would have died, whether he/she was firstborn or not.

“Another problem with using the Passover lamb as an archetype for Jesus’s sacrifice is that the Torah barred uncircumcised males from participating in the Passover ritual (Exodus 12:48).”

After the death and resurrection of Jesus there was no reason to participate in the passover ritual as it was fulfilled by Jesus.

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6 Responses to Answering Skobac on sacrfice, part 1

  1. madmanna says:

    The animal sacrifice is only the sign or symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus.

  2. madmanna says:

    The Gentiles never took this route, which shows that it was just a temporary ritual for the temple dispensation. Only things that are permanent are necessary for salvation. After the temple priesthood is the priesthood of Jesus in heaven, which is permanent and necessary for atonement.

  3. madmanna says:

    But God had to be propitiated through the burnt offerings in the OT. This was necessary to maintain oneself in a condition of atonement with God. All communion with God was based on this. Prophets were no exception.

  4. madmanna says:

    The sacrifice itself was only a sign or symbol so it did not provide atonement in itself. So it did not matter if it was not always present for the forgiving of sins, as during the exile. Confession and repentance are always necessary.

    The NT shows that the sacrifice of Jesus is necessary for the atonement of the sins of the world. Cornelius had to be baptized. His good works did not save him:

    Acts 10 v 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

    The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

    (Joel 2:28-32; John 14:15-26; John 16:5-16; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 19:1-7)

    44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Gentile’s baptism is unnecessarily symbolic as Jewish animal sacrifice for Christians.
    Let Gentiles return again the theology of “symbology” of Christianity back to Christianity.

    Baptism of Cornelius is just a symbolic friendship of Gentiles, not more or less, but his prayers and alms has reached heaven. Holy Ghost descends down and dwells in Cornelius before he gets circumcised or baptised then.

    Since the Moses’ animal sacrifice (also baptism or purification) is just a symbol in Christianity – not necessary, not above repentance – then similarly both the sacrifice of Jesus and the baptism must be a symbol as well for Gentiles.
    Prayer and alms suffice for Gentile’s sin atonement according to Daniel.
    Dan 4
    27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The fact how early Christians, such as Peter and disciples, are amazed by the descending of Holy Ghost on Cornelius before betting baptised is a proof of Unitarians, JWs and Arians how they don’t truly understand what Jesus has taught them of requirement for sin’s atonement.

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