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The Meaning of Jesus' Death (Read 9560 times)
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #15 - Apr 29th, 2017 at 11:55am
 
Don:

It doesn't seem as if you answered Dude's question about those three versus he referred to. Well, to some extent you did with some of the things you wrote on this thread before he asked that question. You provided some good related verse references.

Perhaps you can tell Dude that God's beingness, wisdom and love are all one. Therefore, if we open up to God's love as much as we can and accept the wisdom we find there, we'll find out much more than we could ever find by reading any book. We'll know how to consider the versus that Dude asked about. Heart-based wisdom is the best wisdom of all. God has graced us with the ability to listen to our hearts, which connect us to him. Our intellects on the other hand can be quite fallible.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #16 - May 1st, 2017 at 11:52am
 
Berserk2 wrote on May 22nd, 2013 at 8:32pm:
The New Testament understands Jesus' atoning death as the sacrifice that ends the legitimacy of all sacrifices.  His death signals the end of sacrifices in 2 senses: (1) The NT views the OT sacrifices as prophetic types pointing ahead to Jesus' fulfillment of the sacrifice cult.  (2) Jesus predicts that destruction of Temple, whose sacrifices expressed the heart of Jewish atonement theology.  Within 40 years of Jesus' death (70 AD), sacrifices were terminated by the Roman destruction of the Temple.


But why would God's plan employ a now culturally obsolete practice like sacrifices in the first place?  Divine revelation does not destroy culture.  If it tried to do that, it would never find acceptance. Speaking metaphorically, divine revelation "lisps" through cultural categories to express its truth, but as cultures vanish or evolve, the revelation needs continual restatement to prevent the kernal of truth from being confused with the cultural husk.


Thus, God declares through Jeremiah (chap. 7)  that He never established the Israelite system of sacrifice in the first place.   Elsewhere in the OT, God makes His true attitude to sacrifices clear when the Jewsh sacrifices no longer reflect true repentance and a desire for transformation.  Thus, God asks sarcastically, "Why would you imagine I want sacrifices?  Do you think I get hungry or thirsty?  Why don't you just eat your sacrifices yourself?"   The implciation is that God reveals "His" truth and prescription for living within the cultural structures provided by the sacrifice system.  God reveals His word not instead of cultural categories, but within them.  So God constantly reminds Israel that He really wants obedience, not sacrifice.


In another post (2), I'll address the question," What can anyone's death, even the Messiah's death, possibly have to do with my shortcomings?"  Two wrongs don't make a right.  So how can Jesus' death be anything more than an injustice to Him that compounds the Judaeo-Christian God's culpability?


Don, I'm still trying to make sense of the OT sacrifices, so maybe you can help. The following are my thoughts. Perhaps you can comment and let me know if I'm close.

Ritual sacrifice was an important part of the culture around the time of Leviticus. God demanded animal sacrifices not because he required blood or death (I've heard theories that God required a substitutionary death for man's sins via animal sacrifices), but because the sacrifice represented repentance in the minds of men. So it was essentially the best way of introducing the practice of repentance into that culture.

Does this sound accurate?

I've also heard the idea that the killing of animals served as a demonstration and representation of the evil and horror of sin, so in this way the people in that culture had a way of understanding how horrible sin was in the eye of God via the relationship between the gruesome act of killing these animals and the sins they were committing which required the killing.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #17 - May 18th, 2017 at 3:52pm
 
Jesus' atoning death is rich in symbolism at several levels. For example, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) in ancient Israel one goat was offered up as a sacrifice and the other goat was released into the wilderness.  This practice is grounded in Leviticus 16.  For a general description of this ritual read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoat

During Jesus' trial, Pilate looks for a way to release Jesus.  Before the crowd clambering for Jesus' crucifixion, he points to the Passover custom of releasing a prisoner and gives them a choice between Jesus and the thief, Barabbas.  The crowd prefers Barabbas probably because he is a political revolutionary.  Barabbas and Jesus are both symbols of the 2 goats because in Hebrew "Barabbas" means "son of the father" and Jesus is the Son of God, the Father.   

In my next planned post, I will discuss Jesus' sacrifice in its most important sense as representative atonement. 
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #18 - May 25th, 2017 at 1:41pm
 
At this point it is useful to see how the meaning of Christ's atoning death finds practical expression in baptism and Holy Communion.  For Paul, baptism means immersion, which in turn symbolizes a burial with Christ in which our sinful nature is buried and our participation in Christ's resurrection power when we rise from the water a new creation in Christ.  In other words, because on the cross, JGod takes responsibility for creating flawed human nature, the crucified Jesus represents us in such a way that we share His fate, ignominious death, followed by glorious risen power and life.  Paul expresses this in Romans 6:3:5:

"Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like His."

This symbolism has a twofold practical application:
(1) By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the true Christian's life expresses His/her Christ Self:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:19-20)."

(2) Another way of expressing this is that our immersion baptism initiates our being clothed with Christ's Spirit.  But "wearing Christ" in this way becomes real only to the degree that we the church become truly one (in love and harmony.  Thus, in Christ there can be no discrimination based on race, social standing, or gender:

"As many as were baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ.  There  is no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile; for all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28)."

How Christ's atoning death manifests on concrete Christian unity and oneness must be illustrated by a proper understanding and practice of Holy Communion.  I will explain how this is intended to work in a future post.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #19 - May 25th, 2017 at 11:01pm
 
There is a neglected mystical dimension that is ideally achieved through baptism.  So I will digress and describe my own baptism at the tender age of 11.  I was the only child among about 12 baptismal candidates.  We first had to attend a class on the theology of baptism that was geared for adults and involved unexplained abstract theological jargon.  The lecturer used terms like justification, sanctification, and propitiation which created excruciation to my young mind that had hoped this would be a meaningful rite of passage.  We were told that we needed to become "circumcised in spirit," which was fine, except I didn't even know what physical circumcision was!

The baptisms were to be performed in a large tank behind the platform in a Sunday night service before a huge crowd of 1,500 people.  We were expected to share our personal faith testimonies before our immersion, but I had no idea what I should say and was too petrified to comply.  Everyone except me shared their testimonies.  When my turn came, I nervously waded out in about 4 1/2 feet of water, and when the pastor asked me if I had "a testimony for the Lord Jesus," I shook my head with great shame.  So the pastor compensated for this failure by posing a series of catechetical questions.  At that point, I just felt eager to get my ordeal over with. 

The pastor dunked me, but his act of raising me up from the water led directly to one of the most sacred of experiences of my life.  I suddenly saw a vision of Jesus in the corner of the tank, smiling lovingly at me.  Jesus' expression seemed to display a sense humor and empathy at my embarrassed plight.  Seldom had I ever felt so loved.  In retrospect, I think Jesus foreknew that He would call me to the ministry and wanted this rite of passage to be a truly sacred and memorable experience for me.  Jesus empowered my baptism to become a vehicle through which I got an inkling of what Paul meant when he taught that baptism is intended to "clothe us with Christ." 










soo
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #20 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 2:24pm
 
A proper attitude towards the sacrament of Holy Communion demonstrates the practical implication of at/one/ment theology.  Consider these 4 points:

(1) For Jesus the practice of Holy Communion must not be trivialized as merely symbolic; it is a way to affirm and reestablish an intimate connection with Him:

"My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Those whoi eat my flesh and drink my blood ABIDE IN ME AND I IN THEM (John 6:35-36)."

It is a visceral way to acknowledge the crucified Christ as our representative and thus is our way of mystically "participating" in and benefitting from Christ's atoning death. 

(2) But Communion is not a magical ritual.  How does this ritual enable such an intimate connection with Christ?  The answer is a proper reaction to the double meaning of the bread as the body of Christ.  The bread represents not only Christ's body broken on the cross, but also the Church as the corporate Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

(3) Just as baptism means a commitment to abolish discrimination based on race, social standing, and gender (Galatians 3:27-28), so Communion implies an agreement to work towards a loving harmony with socially marginal members of Christ's body.  The consequences can be serious for those who establish an intimate connection with Christ through Communion, and yet, do nothing to enhance this loving group harmony:

"All who eat and drink WIHOUT DISCERNING THE BODY eat and drink judgment against themselves.  Foe this reason, many of you are sick and ill, and some have died (11:29-30)."

Paul's indignation is prompted by complaints from believers among the poor and slaves who are being neglected and denied a loving share of the food and drink served at the love feast, of which Holy Communion is a part.  The conventional elitism that characterizes Greek culture has infected the church in defiance of Paul's teaching.  Divine protection from dark forces can be removed as a result of a frivolous participation in Communion. 

(4) The NT frowns on isolated spirituality.  Authentic Holy Communion and intimacy with Christ normally requires regular attendance of a church or worship group.

"Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, NOT NEGLECTING TO ASSEMBLE TOGETHER, as the habit of some is, but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25)."

The badge of Christian spirituality is our love for others in general, but the Christians' demonstration of a love for each other that emulates Jesus' love for His disciples:

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, id you have love for one another (John 13:35)." 

A truly loving Christian community is needed to draw in the unchurched.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #21 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 11:00pm
 
Hey Don, great posts.

I have some reservations regarding communion. The ideas presented in this article make sense to me. Perhaps you could give it a read some time and comment on it. http://drmsh.com/the-lord-supper-supernatural-constipation-lords-supper-part-2/
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #22 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 10:13pm
 
Tonight I went to church for the first time since my conversion. It was a local baptist church that some volleyball friends invited me to. A band played Christian rock songs for the first 45 minutes, and the rest of the two hour session was preaching and communion. I was more open to the ritual after doing more research into it since my last post, as I am a bit aversive towards Catholic rituals  and I hadn't given it deep enough consideration.

The preacher seemed wise, spoke with great emotion, and was biblical. The music they played moved me to tears as I contemplated and worshiped Jesus. My eyes were actually teary more than they were dry tonight. I didn't see anyone else crying but I didn't feel uncomfortable about it.

I was baptized at the local Catholic church before I was a believer (for marriage purposes), but I am thinking of getting baptized at this baptist church, not that I think it's necessary but it's something I want to do to symbolize my faith. Anyway, it was a great experience and I'm definitely going back next week.

Don, thanks for encouraging me to seek out a church. This was just what I needed.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #23 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 1:37am
 
Vince,  I'd advise you to pray about getting baptized.  Remember, that in the early church it was closely associated with the bestowal of the Holy Spirit--not that this bestowal is automatic, but ccntemplative expectation will make your rebaptism more meaningful. 

I'm glad you liked your friends' church.  I'd recommend some church hopping before you settle finally on one church.  Check out at least one Pentecostal or charismatic church and just assume that you have the gift of discernment to assess whatever spiritual gifts are demonstrated.  The Holy Spirit will reveal to you which church best suits you.  It's not just a question of which church you enjoy the most.  You have undeveloped spiritual gifts that are most likely to be revealed to you in a church setting, at least one of which, I believe will build on the skills you developed in your OBE Dude period. 

When I have time, I'll address your additional question about Holy Communion.  btw, one of the most famous Christian evangelical leaders in the USA just created a scandal for his radio listeners because he joined a Greek Orthodox church.  One of the main reasons for the switch, he says, is their belief in the "real presence" of Christ during Communion.  As he points out, the church has almost always believed in this throughout church history, until the Reformation.  It's an important issue to get straight because your perspective will affect what the Spirit can do in your heart when you participate in Communion. 

P.S. It's only fair to warn you that I am a deadly spiker! Roll Eyes
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #24 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 9:10am
 
Thanks, I will check out some other churches before I settle on one.

So you're a fellow volleyballer, huh? My kind of guy! Maybe you'd enjoy this short video of me that gives the term "deadly spiker" a new meaning!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyb3_LrRkM
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #25 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 12:54pm
 
Lutheran, Methodist and Anglican also believe in the "real presence" of Christ during communion as well.  I don't know if there are others.

Volleyball was my game as well.  Nice spike!  Smiley
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #26 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 5:57pm
 
So I'm wondering if there is a connection between Don's last post and him being banned. For the life of me, I can't comprehend how he could get banned when I could site dozens of posts by other members who clearly violated the posting guidelines to a far greater degree and much more consistently than anything Don has done. Let this serve as a lesson to all at this forum that if you don't conform to the consensus belief system, you are not welcomed here. Pathetic.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #27 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 6:14pm
 
What?  Don is banned?
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #28 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 8:47am
 
I Am Dude wrote on Jun 12th, 2017 at 5:57pm:
So I'm wondering if there is a connection between Don's last post and him being banned. For the life of me, I can't comprehend how he could get banned when I could site dozens of posts by other members who clearly violated the posting guidelines to a far greater degree and much more consistently than anything Don has done. Let this serve as a lesson to all at this forum that if you don't conform to the consensus belief system, you are not welcomed here. Pathetic.


How do you know that Don is banned?

crossbow
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #29 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 7:07pm
 
I don't know if Don was banned.

Dude, boy do you see what you want to see, and so will others that choose to ignore Bruce's stated wish that Don start his own forum to do what he does here.

I have mixed feelings about this. It isn't an all or nothing matter. Since Bruce did state that he wished Don would start his own forum rather than post here, it might be reasonable to conclude that Bruce didn't start this forum so someone could use it to discredit Robert Monroe (and Bruce, mainly by discrediting Robert) and then create numerous posts that serve the purpose to get people to think of Don's version of Christianity instead.

If Don was banned, I for one support such a move. Perhaps this forum could be used for its original purpose. Perhaps more people who are interested in exploring the afterlife will find the forum interesting. I doubt that people come here to learn about the Bible, and about how making contact with spirit world should be avoided. Don, Dude and Roger have all written posts stating that it should be avoided.

Dude, if you believe this is pathetic, perhaps you should find a forum that was created for the purpose of promoting Christianity.

Don't act so self-righteous when you aren't willing to acknowledge the other perspective on this matter.

Come on guys, don't play dumb, some of you know that you are using this forum to turn people off to some of the things Bruce wrote about, and to instead become Christians. You can deny this all you like, actions speak louder than words.

1796 wrote on Jun 13th, 2017 at 8:47am:
I Am Dude wrote on Jun 12th, 2017 at 5:57pm:
So I'm wondering if there is a connection between Don's last post and him being banned. For the life of me, I can't comprehend how he could get banned when I could site dozens of posts by other members who clearly violated the posting guidelines to a far greater degree and much more consistently than anything Don has done. Let this serve as a lesson to all at this forum that if you don't conform to the consensus belief system, you are not welcomed here. Pathetic.


How do you know that Don is banned?

crossbow

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