Swimmy wrote:That's not gonna convince a non believer. You can look at it and say its not much of a bill he had to pay. What did Jesus lose in this sacrifice? If I was immortal and jumped off a bridge to save a falling child is it really sacrifice knowing the consequences of that action? Sure he sacrificed his mortal life but he is God. He had nothing to fear. He had nothing to lose. He had the comfort of all knowing and all power.
I think that analogy works better if you say you are immortal but can still be injured and still feel pain. That way, after you jump off the bridge, you know you're going to live, but you'll also have to spend quite a bit of time in the hospital recovering. The fact that you would survive after hitting the ground, and the child wouldn't, is the only thing that makes you of any use to the child. Let's also say you are an exceptionally good (morally) person, for the sake of argument. What would be the better (morally) thing to do: jump off the bridge to save the child knowing you'll survive; or stand by and watch because you know you would survive if you jumped to save the child, but you'd rather not have to spend some time in the hospital.
Jesus was fully man, as well as fully God. Some people it seems have trouble understanding the 'fully man' part. Jesus had feelings, emotions - he felt pain and misery just like the rest of us. Have you read the passage about Jesus in Gethsemane? Jesus was overwhelmed with painful emotions because he knew he was going to die, regardless if he knew he was going to be brought back.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch." Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." (Mark 14:32-36)
Jesus was deeply disturbed by the thought of his coming death, he practically begged God to find another way. But he knew there was no other way, so he went through with it because he loves us. He admitted everything is possible for God, but he still wanted to find an easier way. The only explanation is that he knew that the pain, although temporary, would be very real. Not just the physical pain of being beaten, whipped, and hung on a cross, but also the emotional pain of all his beloved children mocking him and spitting on him.
OK, so Jesus had real emotions and felt real pain. But his trial/execution lasted, what? A few hours? Not even a couple days for sure. God is eternal, why would He care about a couple days? Here's where we get to that CS Lewis quote I posted above. God is greater than pain, greater than death, has the power to erase both of those at His will. We are not. The wages of sin is death, both physical and spiritual. Jesus died a physical death for sure, and because he took on all our sins and God can not come in contact with sin, I don't think it would be too farfetched to say he died a spiritual death too. The point is he came back from both of those, defeated them. That's why you are saying his sacrifice wasn't really worth anything. But on the contrary, that's the only reason his sacrifice was worth anything.
If Jesus (as fully God) did not conquer death, did not come back from the grave, where would our hope be? If God could not even conquer death, how could we, being infinitely less powerful than Him, have any hope of doing so? Jesus promise to us is that he will raise us from the dead and give us eternal life for believing in him. If he did not raise from the dead, why would we believe he could raise us? His promise would be unfulfillable, a lie.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (1 Corinthians 15: 13-19)
Notice that last verse especially. If our hope in Christ is only useful in this life, we are to be pitied more than all men. Pretty harsh, I'd say. But true. And that's exactly why Christ's ability to raise himself from the dead is what makes his sacrifice matter. God is greater than us, greater than death. That doesn't makes his sacrifice useless, it's the only thing that makes it useful.
Swimmy wrote:Now a sacrifice would be if God gave up his sinless nature by taking on our sins.
That would definitely make Christ's sacrifice useless. God requires absolute perfection; no sin can be brought into His presence. If Christ had sinned even once, He'd be no different than the rest of us, and thus unfit to be the sacrifice that redeems us before God.