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Did God Kill His Own Son?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

Often I hear non-Christians characterize the Christian God as a bloodthirsty tyrant who killed his own son (Jesus) on the cross.  Jesus, they claim, was sacrificed against his will in order to fulfill the bizarre requirements of his sadistic father.  “I cannot,” they say, “worship a God that would kill his own son!”

The first few times I heard this complaint against God, my first reaction was disbelief at how twisted an interpretation of Christianity this was.  But then I thought, “How would I answer this charge against God?”

The answer is simple.  Jesus was not forced to die by his father.  He willingly laid down his life in the supreme act of sacrifice for mankind.  How do I know this?  Well, I read the Bible, unlike those that level this charge.

The Gospel of John provides the answer in John 10:11-18:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.

Sadistic God killing his son?  Not even close.  As the Good Shepherd, Jesus lays down his own life for his sheep.  A greater sacrifice has never been known.


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Comments

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    Really?

    I hear the bigger complaint about the crucifixion is that god ‘sacrificed himself, to himself, to get around a rule he made, without actually dying.’

    God’s ‘bloodthirstiness’ comes from the human sacrifices in the OT.

  • Bill Pratt

    morsec0de,
    Anyone who would make the complaint above has a pitiful understanding of Christianity. I assume that you have corrected the people who say ignorant things like that?

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    I’ve never heard a good response about it from a Christian. (Or a non-Christian, for that matter.)

    If you have one, I’d love to hear it.

    It seems consistent enough.

    He sacrificed himself to himself: If God is Jesus, and Jesus is God, then this is accurate.

    To get around a rule he made: Who is responsible for the light and the dark, the good and the evil, and all the rules? According to the bible, that would be God. Unless there are rules that he didn’t make and can’t break. But then, how would he be god?

    Without actually dying: If he’s God, he can’t die. All he did was get rid of the human body in exchange for being an eternal spirit with absolute power. Not really a death or a sacrifice.

    If I’m wrong, by all means, correct me.

  • Bill Pratt

    First, the Father and Son share the same nature, but they are two persons. The Son willingly sacrificed himself at the cross, not the Father. So saying he sacrificed himself to himself is not accurate. Jesus, as the Son, sacrificed himself for mankind. The Father did not sacrifice himself.

    Second, God was not getting around a rule he made. God’s justice is part of his essential nature. He is infinitely just. However, he is also merciful. God provided a way for mankind to satisfy his justice by Jesus agreeing to take on the punishment for man’s sins. That is the substitutionary atonement. Again, he did not “make” the rule of justice. He simply is just, and perfectly just at that. Justice is part of his nature, and God cannot act against his own nature.

    Third, Jesus really did die, as a human being. He felt real pain and died an excruciating death of crucifixion. After three days, he came back to life, but this doesn’t mean that he didn’t die. To claim he didn’t die is truly odd.

    Most of these misunderstandings come from a lack of understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Check out my posts on the Trinity for more background.

  • Hein Huyser

    Hi Morsecode, I trust that we will communicate in clear ways, and in a language thats understandable to all, unlike morse-code, which I don’t understand in the least.
    Allow me approach this Q of yours in the following manner and I hope it will give you a clear understanding, although I will be brief.
    As God made a covenant with Abraham to ensure that not only will his offspring be many, but also that the Messiah will come from his bloodline, with the result in us having had Jesus Christ, about 2000 years ago. All of the major prophets prophesied of a perfect “lamb” that will be slain for mankind, with unbroken limbs etc. exactly the way that happened just prior to Israel’s departure prior to them leaving Egypt to their promissed land, for us to be able to enter into our promised land. In like manner Jesus made a new covenant with us, and He himself offered himself as a perfect, unblemished and unbroken sacrifice to make it possible for us to enter into covenant with Him, and the covenant promises.
    If you care to understand the covenant promises, you will also note that without us entering into covenant with Jesus, our minds will be closed to some misteries, which innitially must be entered into with faith. Those things you believe, but don’t see yet. Him being sacrificed had everything to do with you, and not Him glorifying Himself for Himself. He had you in mind when He cried in the garden of Getsemane and asked God,”to let this cup pass by me”. But He pushed through, well knowing what the result will be. Your salvation, or at least, if you choose. It is not automatic.
    Awesome isn’t it. Shalom

  • john beechy

    I would like to say that God is infinite as the brother already said and when we sinned we sinned against a God of infinite worth. For God to not condone sin and remain just and not contradict his nature he had to punish us and sentence us to spiritual death. Not because he is bad but because he is good and will remain just. Man’s problem is that they sinned against a God of infinite worth and the debt had to be paid but it only could be paid by man. Problem here is that the payment for are sin against God would to be paid for sinning against a God of infinite worth. God being the only perfect infinite being has taken the chances of anyone else of paying for that sin including the angels, cherubims, and humans. The one paying for the sin against God had to be God himself because only God was great enough to pay for a sin against himself and only God was great of to bear punishment for our sins against the almighty Father in Heaven. So man owed a debt that they could not pay, and it had to be man that had to pay for that debt against God no one else. The only one great enough to pay for that sin was God himself, but only could make that payment. So, God in his great love for us came on the earth fully man because man owed a debt and fully God through Jesus Christ because only God could make a payment for sinning against him an infinite being worth an infinite worth. So Jesus came fulfilled the law perfectly without sin as man and God. He came on the cross was forsaken of the father on the cross and all of our sin the whole worlds sin was laid upon him being crucified outside the city becoming a curse for us. God as isaiah 53:10 says bruised him or he poured his wrath for all the worlds sin past and present and future that we would have taken upon ourself in hell, upon Jesus Christ on the cross. He fulfilled Psalm 22 where he quoted my God, my God why has thou forsaken me! He says it is finished meaning that all of our sin was paid for on the cross and God’s wrath was appeased and satisfied once and for all through the death of God’s own son who gave himself willingly for us.

  • Tom

    Jesus set the Ultimate example, by showing us that nothing real can be hurt or threatened. His message was ” there is no pain, there is no death, there is no sin. Do to me as you wish, but I will still love you” This world is an illusion, a dream, we are all in this dream, until we awaken (spiritual awakening), Upon awakening, we remember who we are in Christ. We are Gods will, He is perfect Love, he can only create perfect beings, we are literally his children in the truest sense of the word. Therefore we are perfect love, sinless, and guiltless. What we see as evil in this world are acts committed by people who are sleeping (” father forgive them for they know not what they do “). Death is an illusion, Gods children cannot die. How do I know this? I have had a spiritual awakening, I trust the experience i have had. My spirit is in Christ, and Christs is in me. My mind has been changed by Christ, the fruit I bear is my witness. We must all go within and have our own Christ experience, I witness to my concept. The question is, “does your concept of God work for you?, look at the fruit in your life. If your concept does not work, change it until it does :)

  • Crystal Roden

    Here’s how I see it:

    When I was a little kid I heard about this God who defended the weak…….in my world being a kid made me a second class citizen……but not to God for some reason…….I had a burning desire to learn about Him…….so we went to Sunday school and I heard about Jesus……healing people……defying authority to heal people, feeding the five thousand, forgiving people who had messed up out of love for them. And He didn’t care who you were either, He loved anyway…….He seemed to understand weakness………and try to fill the gap…….I fell in love with this man…….

    But then the preacher told me what happened to Him…….how they beat Him and tortured Him and how He let them do it to save me from my weaknesses…….from my sin…….He paid the price for my weakness……..and in the back of my mind, though I dared not ask the question…….I wondered why God could not have found another way. After all, He was God!!!!!! God can do anything He wants. Cant He? All I did was decide to have faith that it must have been a good reason…….or God would have done it differently…….

    As I grew and studied the word I learned that God had given Himself some rules too…….it wasn’t in what the Bible said exactly…..it was in these things:

    Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

    Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began

    So this established for me that God will not lie. And a lie isn’t always a falsehood. Sometimes it’s saying one thing and doing another. This is not the nature of God, to say one thing and do another.

    Well…….in Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    So now in my mind it is established that God cannot lie, that He made man in His triune image as a triune being (body, spirit and soul) and that He’d given over authority of the earth to mankind……and it seemed to be God’s desire to walk with man and fellowship with them and enjoy their company. Much like I love my kids who I long to spend time with and watch them grow and develop……

    Enter Lucifer and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…….the only tree man was told not to eat from…….lest he would surely die Genesis 2:8-17.

    Once man ate from that tree and knew evil, it set off a whole chain of events. And God, being God, did not want man to die, but to have eternal life…….for He loved them. He would not destroy His creation and build another for He’d given authority over it to man. Maybe Lucifer hadn’t been so happy with all of that, you think? Maybe he’d wanted authority over it……..but that’s just conjecture……in any case, God set out to fix the problem……the problem of how to help man to have eternal life and not be bound to this Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death (but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord)

    God needed a man to fix this for in the spiritual realm, there was much to do to restore the order of things to His original intention when He first created the earth. I am not going to spell the rest out to you because if you have ears to hear I wont have too, the Holy Spirit will help you to understand. If you dont, I wont be throwing pearls before swine.

    Isaiah 59:15-16 So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no MAN, and wondered that there was NO INTERCESSOR; Therefore His OWN ARM brought salvation for Him. And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

    Isaiah 51:9-11 Awake, awake, put on strength, O ARM of the LORD! Awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are YOU not the ARM that cut Rahab apart, and wounded the serpent? Are you not the ONE who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed to cross over? So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

    Isaiah 53

    Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form of comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

    Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

    He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as sheep before it’s shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgement, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked–but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.

    Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death. And He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Ok……if that dont describe Christ I dont know what does…….ok, so He died for our transgressions. The problem was, for the devil………that he couldn’t hold Christ in death because, well, Christ didn’t fall under that clause God had set up, “the wages of sin is death”. Therefore death had no power over Christ…….so He was resurrected after preaching in the grave to the folks who’d lived in Noah’s day who hadn’t heard the gospel……(See 1 Peter 3:18-4:5)

    Consider this verse: Acts 7:48-50 However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says. ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these things?’

    Consider this verse: 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell IN them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’

    Ok…….so far Christ has fulfilled the law, conquered death, and fixed it where God could fellowship with man once again by way of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit……so what is left to do? Justice? Hmmm.

    Read on:

    I have to quote this out of my granny’s Bible because new translations changed a very important word in the reading……..

    Revelation 5 And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no MAN in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no MAN was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

    And one of the elders saith to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne……..

    If you read on, you will note that this book pertains to things on the earth…..and that might answer for you why God would not allow Himself to open it Himself because He had given authority over the earth to man……and God does not lie…….so when Christ referred to Himself as the Son of Man……it was a very significant thing…….

    The Jews were looking for an earthly Savior…….God was needing so much more……..someday there will be a new heaven and a new earth and all this will be thrown into the lake of fire……it was to this end God was working……..and there, my friends, is why the cross was necessary……..man chose the method of death indeed…….but God needed the death to take place……..

  • Manny

    Sir you need to go back to Creation to understand death on the cross. First you need to know what death is. Death is not the end. It is just a movement from one place to another. Now when God created man He made man with free will. God wanted man to come to Him out of free will and not force. When Adam sinned the entire mankind fell. Now God knew that man would rebel against Him. He could have stopped the devil from meeting Eve, but that would mean interfering with man’s life. So God planned the way of salvation before the creation. The plan was: the second person of trinity would sacrifice Himself to save mankind. So this was shown to Adam & Eve thru the act of God where an animal was killed to cover their nakedness(sin). From then on man kept on covering his sin to go to God. Man’s sin was never washed away because the substitute animal was just a symbol and it can never take over man’s sin. It is possible for God to take over man’s sin, BUT God CANNOT sin. So He came to earth as a man. Now Christ was not half man half God. He was fully man and fully God. As a man Christ was sinless. So He could take on the sins of all those who died before His time, sins of people who were living during that time and the sins of people who were yet to be born. Now you as what is so great about this? Let me ask you this: have you ever lost someone you loved very much? have you seen people crying when their loved one’s die? Likewise when Christ took over world’s sin, His relation with the Father was severed. Now this was a relation that backs to ETERNITY PAST. This sir, was and will be the GREATEST SACRIFICE OF ALL TIME. Now after this Christ was justified as it was not His sin. The best example would be this: You do something very bad and as you are on the way to the jail your brother comes along and says he wants to be punished for your mistake and would go to jail for you. So the judge accepts it. Now after your go to jail the judge says that your brother cannot “be” in the jail as he is innocent. So sets your brother free. Now your brother goes to the judge and say “since I already went to jail for my brother’s fault, my brother should never be punished if he accepts his mistake and accept that I went to jail fro him” Now this is just a CRUDE PICTURE OF WHAT HAPPENED 2000 years ago. So please pray to God that He would open the eyes of your understanding.

  • LOOP

    US MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN LAYING DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR YOU / MUCH GREATER SACRAFICE THAN “GOD/JESUS” SUFFERING, MAYBE – WE DON’T REALLY KNOW IF HE FELT ANYTHING ( YOU KNOW, BEING GOD AND ALL – MAYBE HE JUST TURNED OFF THE PHYSICAL PAIN). NOT SO WITH OUR VETERANS WHO GAVE THE SUPREME SACRAFICE – SO PLEASE – KNOCK OFF THE CRAP.

  • Gamila

    Pls do not embarace urself,u don’t know what u r talking about.Go to youtube watch Ysef Estes,he will reviele the truth.

  • Gamila

    Stop this nonsense.Jesus was a Gods messenger not son!!!!!!Thats a heresy!!!Yusef Estes,ask him!

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Gamila,
    Please read the comment guidelines. Consider this your first warning.

  • Belialdefeatsthechurch

    His death was like an assisted suicide that should have been avoided had he not given us a love for demons and Lucifer. That was a atrocity God committed when he made Adam talked about him condescendingly as if he’s no good without a woman. nobody today and all humanity would never ask why, If God showed greater intelligence than this. God is a hypocrite for breaking his own commandment when it spoke thou shalt not kill, slaying Jesus was self-contradictory.

  • rob

    Jesus asked on the cross: “My God why have you forsaken me?” Why did he ask this if he was so willing to be up there. Somewhere in the book of Romans it asks us what God would not do for us if he was willing to sacrifice his own son. But, this makes me wonder: what would He not be willing to do to us if he was wiling to sacrifice his own son?

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Jesus is a human being (as well as God) and he, no doubt, felt great anguish as he was dying, even though as the pre-incarnate Son of God, he was fully willing to go to the cross. The wrath of God the Father was felt by Jesus the human being, a feeling none of us could imagine.

    In addition, this statement by Jesus is a quote from Psalm 22, so he may have been identifying himself with David’s situation in that Psalm.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    The commandment to not kill does not apply to God. In fact, none of the commandments are directed toward God. They are directed toward us.

    Read this blog post to understand the point:
    http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2013/12/26/if-god-can-kill-why-cant-we/

  • rob

    I think we as humans can imagine Jesus’ tribulation all too well. That’s at least one thing we have in common with Jesus, the man. Thanks for comments.

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