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Purpose of Jesus' death

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This page asks why God has allowed to kill Jesus.

There are many answers to this question, but most of them have certain deficiencies. For example: the answer "Jesus was punished for our sins instead of us, so that God could satisfy His wrath, so there are no more reason to punish us." has the following deficiency: It lacks an explanation why God needs to punish somebody, why God considers OK to punish Jesus instead of us; moreover this looks as an urgent injustice to punish not that person which sinned.

Having believing Bible that God allowed Jesus to die instead of us, we nevertheless need to construct an explanation which fits our minds and does not look like a contradiction.

There is a good article on this topic[1]. This article explains various existing explanations of Jesus' death, giving pro and contras for various explanations.

Victor Porton's theory

Victor Porton's explanation

While reading this article[1], I came up with an idea (first published in my blog):

Christ’s death was to demonstrate that an altruistic person will be rewarded (as in Christ’s resurrection and power over the entire heavens given) justly, even when at first it seems that this way leads to death.

This has shown to the heavenly powers that altruism works and leads to life rather than to death as someone may expect.

And this needs a sacrifice of God himself, because it is necessary to show that even the highest level of altruism is rewarded.

This way Christ pulled many heavenly being to his side of the war and won the war.

Unlike irrational human which may believe without a confirmation, rational heavenly beings in question need to see to believe. If only people's beliefs were in question, for Christ it would be enough to say "Believe me: Altruism leads to life, even at times it seems that it leads to death. Even if you die, God will resurrect you." without the need of death and resurrection of Jesus himself, but this would be enough only for people not for heavenly beings.

Please discuss this my idea further, especially how it fits with different Bible verses.

Further thoughts

Further thoughts are probably not as clear as the original idea, but need to be considered.

If Christ didn't die, to prove that altruism wins, it would be necessary to eliminate all sinners (that is us), because while there is at least one sinner, he is a fly in the ointment. So he has died instead of us.

Fitting with "biblical" criteria

The paper[1] lists "biblical reasons are non-negotiable for any biblical atonement theory" of Jesus' death. Let's consider how they fit with Victor Porton's theory:

  • to provide eternal life - Victor Porton's theory does not address this issue but does not contradict it as well
  • to reconcile us to God - Victor Porton's theory does not address this issue but does not contradict it as well
  • to express love - Victor Porton's theory is that Christ expresses "altruism" which is closely related to "love"
  • to defeat evil - fits exactly into Victor Porton's theory
  • to provide an example - yes, an example of altruism
  • to justify us apart from the Law - Victor Porton's theory does not address this issue but does not contradict it as well
  • to free us from sin to live righteously - Victor Porton assumes that freeing of sin is made possible by first defeating evil in the heaven, accordingly Victor Porton's theory
  • for our sins - If there were no sins, there would be no reason for Christ to die

Relation with other theories

See a list of theological theories in [1].

  • Ransom - the relation is unclear
  • Christus Victor - Victor Porton's theory is a special case of this theory
  • Moral exemplar - Victor Porton's theory is similar to this but the "exemplar" being for heavenly being rather then people
  • Satisfaction - the relation is unclear
  • Penal substitution - the relation is unclear
  • Governmental Theory - the relation is unclear
  • Communal substitution - the relation is unclear, but in opinion of Victor Porton this looks like contradictory to his theory

Related Bible verses

"... through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  15 and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:14-15).

The power of death means that the beings subjected to fear of death were punished by the devil if they expressed altruism. Altruism was punished in the kingdom of the devil. The purpose of Christ's death was by resurrection to eliminate fear of death and so bring more heavenly beings to his side of the war. After Christ's resurrection the death is no more feared and the devil cannot rule anymore.

Bibliography

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Why Did Jesus Die? (Paper for 2016 Theological Conference)