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Was the crucifixion of Jesus a sacrifice? June 17, 2009

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
Tags: , , ,

crucifixion_BRBIf Jesus was god, then the crucifixion was not a sacrifice.

If Jesus was not god, then it was a sacrifice, but it has no ultimate significance beyond being one of thousands of possibly inspiring stories of others who have died for various reasons, both noble and otherwise.

If Jesus never existed, then it’s just a story. If you can be inspired by that, then I can be inspired by Superman (and you can stop making fun of me for dressing like him!)

Now, the position of many Christians is that Jesus was wholly God, wholly human. This is nonsensical, and you know it. I am aware that this is one of the central tenants of the vast majority of Christian theologies, but it is absurd. Trying to justify this in your mind, reveling in the mystery of it, is indicative of something awry. It is to rationalize something absurd, mysterious, and impossible and call it a miracle.

But even if it were to be somehow true, then there are still some questions I have. Did Jesus know he was God (as well as human)?

If he did know he was god, then did he have all of the knowledge of god? If he did, then he knew that he would die on the cross–incarnated knowing so, in fact–and did nothing to stop it. He knew he couldn’t actually die, and that the crucifixion would be only symbolic, so how was it a sacrifice? This seems no different than me playing some online game and sacrificing my character in order to allow the rest of the team win the mission (not that I know anything about such thing…).

And if he didn’t have all the knowledge of god (or his divine powers for that matter!), then how could he be wholly god? Sure, he might have been human in body but having the spirit of god mixed in there, but without all the knowledge then there is something of god missing, right? Perhaps God is holographic, and even a part contains the whole? I’m confused….

Now, if Jesus was just a guy, granted one that was possibly sanctioned and chosen by the real god as a messenger, then it was a sacrifice. But how is it a sacrifice for us? How does a person dying two thousand years ago effect me in any other way than symbolically? And even as a symbol, how does it provide salvation? Further, salvation from what? (i’ll deal with that tomorrow).

And if Jesus was just god, and not human at all (as some early Gnostic sects thought), then his death was not a death at all. Then it was not a sacrifice at all. There is no passion to the narrative, just symbolism. Symbolism that god chose. But why choose that symbol? It seems to be a result of people who were used to the concept of sacrifice as a means to atone, like in the Old Testament laws about animal sacrifice and the smell of burnt offerings that are so pleasing to the lord. Man, Yahweh must love barbecues. But this neolithic idea should sound absurd to you.

I honestly do not see the significance of this supposedly historical event. I do not understand how God sacrificing either an innocent person or himself (to himself, to make up for a rule he made due to a Fall that he orchestrated, mind you) is significant to me at all, even if it were true. If I can see past this BS, I’m sure any real god could too. This sounds like iron age mythology to me, no different than the other myths and fairy tales of human history.

I'll leave you with this…Christianity


1. Minx - June 22, 2009

Again love your work!

2. peacecrusader - July 30, 2009

In God’s plan of salvation of mankind from sin, He made Himself into three—as God the Father in the Old Testament, as God the Son Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and as God the Holy Spirit in the “Last” Testament (in progress). We can only go to where the Father is, i.e. Heaven, if we believe in Jesus for He is THE way. Not A way but THE way.

3. ShaunPhilly - July 30, 2009

What reason do I have to believe that a place like heaven actually exists? You are saying Jesus is THE way, but I’m not seeing any need for a way of any kind. Please support your assertion that a heaven exists at all.

And if you say that the word of God, the Bible, etc says so, then why should I believe what those sources say?

4. peacecrusader - July 31, 2009

I am a Christian and a plain follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that He created me. He was the one who gave me the breath of life. When I die, my physical body will return to the soil where it came from, the water will return to like-water, the air will return to like-air ( that is why a person’s last breath is exhalation), and the spirit that came from God, the breath of life, will return to God. I know that God’s abode is called Heaven. And if I am worthy, he would reward me to be with Him in His kingdom forever.

God is a spirit (John 4:24) and He lives forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The spirit from God that He breathed to me will live forever also. This is our likeness in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). We are spirits.

Now, my experience together with several other people is communicating with a spirit and our sessions with the spirit is tape recorded. It took me eleven years (1983-1994)before I believed that the spirit who we talk to is Jesus Christ. One of the things He told us is the coming World War III. I believe that it will soon happen, maybe in 2012, but it is not far away. He gave us prophecies which were even published in a Sunday magazine supplement, like AIDS, new and mysterious diseases, global warming, unnatural and unbelievable occurrences (e.g. baby born with two heads). If you wish to know about the war and 2012, you may read my answers at Yahoo Answers.

Who can prophecy that a virgin would give birth to a son (Isaiah 7:14)? About 700 years later, the prophecy was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus Christ by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Who can prophecy that the Holy Spirit would come and be with the apostles of Jesus forever? Jesus said that in John 14, 15, and 16 regarding the Holy Spirit. Do we have the Holy Spirit now? I said in the preceding paragraph that we communicate with Him now. He is the Holy Spirit. He is also God the Father. Same being but made into three.

I am not here to save you. You are the captain of your own destiny. You have your own free will. Do what you like to do. Believe what you would like to believe. At the Last Judgment, we will be accountable to the one who gave us our life, and that is God. I believe that the true God, the God of the Bible, tells us what is right and what is wrong. If we follow His commandments, we may qualify to enter His kingdom. So I leave the choice to you.

5. ShaunPhilly - July 31, 2009

I ask again, what reason do you have to believe that we have spirits at all? I don’t care what he Bible says because I am not convinced that the Bible is anything more than a collection of stories, literature, and a little history.

If you really have recorded communication with spirits, then why have you not won a million dollars from JREF?


Nobody has ever won the challenge. You would think that one person able to do so would at least want to give the money to charity.

Isaiah 7:14 says this:

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The word that Christians translate as ‘virgin’ here is ‘almah,’ and the word that translates into virgin is ‘betulah’ in other parts of the OT.

So, really? That’s a prophesy for Jesus? You have to be kidding me! If that is your standard for prophesy, then you can believe anything is prophesy for anything.

6. peacecrusader - July 31, 2009


What is the difference between one who is alive and one who is dead? One who is trying to resuscitate and one who is not responding to any resuscitation effort anymore, like Michael Jackson? The difference? The spirit is still residing in the person doing the resuscitation, whereas the spirit of the dead person has already left its residence, the physical body.

I have been to JREF in 2007. I accepted the challenge. When I went to the Philippines to ask the spirit if He will accept the challenge (I can’t remember what has to be proved but it was something that the Holy Spirit would be able to give ALL the correct numbers in sealed boxes), He declined because He said something like that the challenge is just trivial.

The Holy Spirit confirmed to us that the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, as told in the Bible. Mary was a virgin and remained so for the rest of her life. Jesus was her only child. He did not have any sexual relationship with any man, not even to her spouse, Joseph.

Regarding prophecies in the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament, I refer you to read my blog here at wordpress. I have mentioned to you prophecies that the Holy Spirit told us and you did not address them. They are happening and people are too concerned about them, aren’t they? God is giving us signs and yet people do not attribute that these are signs from God. Are they impossible with God?

The Holy Spirit emphasizes the morality that people should observe as mentioned in The Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and their summaries of two commandments that Jesus said in the New Testament.

Again, I say, believe what you want to believe. I do not care whether you go to Heaven or to Hell. You do whatever you want to do. Believe whatever you want to believe. On Judgment Day, all of us will receive our sentence from our Creator. We will all be accountable to whatever we have said and done.

7. ShaunPhilly - August 1, 2009

The difference between one who is alive and one who is dead is that the dead one has ceased metabolic functioning, organs stop working, and the brain no longer is active, thus the mechanisms shut down and the body is no longer capable to responding to stimuli, processing information, etc.

There is no evidence that I have seen for this thing called spirit.

You are being suspiciously vague about your JREF experience. I’m calling BS on you.

You can believe whatever you like, but when you die and nothing happens you will not have realized how much of it you wasted worrying about fairy tales. In the mean time, you are possibly missing out on a number of things in this one and only life. No skin off on my back, but I do find it a little pitiful.

8. dave - September 12, 2009

Thanks ShaunPhilly!! This post is just what I was looking for. Allow me to explain. I’m a pastor and I’m teaching from 1 Corinthians 1 tomorrow morning. In looking for something with which to illustrate 1 Cor 1:18-25, I decided to Google *crucifixion atheist* and stumbled upon your post.

And thanks all the more for not being uncivil in your criticism.

Dave Kosobucki
(By the way, I love Philadelphia – a truly great American city.)

9. Jason - February 4, 2010


I enjoy reading your religious rhetoric. I can tell you are quite intelligent, obviously educated. Conversely, I am not of the sort I’m afraid. Maybe you can help me understand something though. Why debate Christianity’s validity or anything of this nature for that matter? If my daughter believes in Santa and the Easter bunny, I just smile and think “what a precious little moron”. Seems completely illogical Shaun.

10. Anja - February 28, 2010

Okay then if you believe that Christianity makes absolutely no sense why do you care? There’s no need for you to ruin other people’s chances of ever going to Heaven. Let me ask you something. What’s so wrong with Christianity? You need to know the facts before you post this. Everything in the Bible lines up with history. However the Athiest theory of the Big Bang makes no sense. How can nothing burst spontaneously into a whole universe? And if it’s possible why isn’t it still happening? I don’t mean for this comment be a “Christians vs. Them” I jut want you to be aware that you need to know your facts first. Also I would like to ask you why in the world if you don’t believe in Jesus and God why did you post a picture of Him being crucified? Sure you don’t believe in Him. Don’t mock Him.

11. Charles - March 6, 2010

A little correction:

“ShaunPhilly wrote:

Isaiah 7:14 says this:

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The word that Christians translate as ‘virgin’ here is ‘almah,’ and the word that translates into virgin is ‘betulah’ in other parts of the OT.

So, really? That’s a prophesy for Jesus? You have to be kidding me! If that is your standard for prophesy, then you can believe anything is prophesy for anything.”

Your bias is evident. The word “almah” means “a lass, (as veiled or private):-a damsel, maid, or virgin.” according to Strong’s concordance…and the meaning of the word and the prophesy go hand in hand to tell the tale of truth. You see, as she was a virgin “hidden away” from “knowing” a man (which is to say that she had not had ANY sexual relations)…thereby solidifying the book of Isaiah’s choice of word, she being set aside, and apart.

ShaunPhilly also said:

“There is no evidence that I have seen for this thing called spirit.

You are being suspiciously vague about your JREF experience. I’m calling BS on you.

You can believe whatever you like, but when you die and nothing happens you will not have realized how much of it you wasted worrying about fairy tales.”

Even science proves a “beyond”. Wiki says about the Law of Conservation of Energy that the “…consequence of this law is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed from one state to another. The only thing that can happen to energy in a closed system is that it can change form, for instance chemical energy can become kinetic energy.
Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity shows that energy and mass are the same thing, and that neither one appears without the other. Thus in closed systems, both mass and energy are conserved separately, just as was understood in pre-relativistic physics. The new feature of relativistic physics is that “matter” particles (such as those constituting atoms) could be converted to non-matter forms of energy, such as light; or kinetic and potential energy (example: heat). However, this conversion does not affect the total mass of systems, since the latter forms of non-matter energy still retain their mass through any such conversion…”

Our very core the brain works “electro-chemical”-ly, like a battery. See: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/dec97/880395992.Ns.r.html

And, since you agree with science, and taking into consideration that the FIRST definition in thefreedictionary.com for spirit is: “a. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.” And knowing that this is the same electrochemical makeup of our being then it preposterous to not acknowledge the facts. There is more to this life than just to end up in dirt. From all avenues from trust, and hope to prophesy to science continually prove God.

God continually proves Jesus.

Take that to your JREF.

12. Danielle - March 8, 2010

you seem like you know alot about god. So infact you saying that jesus being man and god COULD be possible with someone like god. Why isnt it possible with god? thousand of miaracles are “impossible’ but they happend did they not? its something our brains cant fully wrap around because we dont have the knowledge he does. and just because you dont understand it does not make it un-so. And what do you believe in? and if you think hard enough im sure that dosent make much sense either. But the fact is that no religon out there is fully clear on everything. And one day god will show us everything. This is why we have a little thing we call FAITH. get some.

13. jopamo - March 9, 2010

Religion is a means to control by fear. Fear of death. But death isn’t scary enough. So religion makes it worse by inventing the concept of heaven and hell. Hell can be non-existence, fiery torment, coming back as a fruitfly…etc. But the faithful enjoy eternal bliss and get to rub it in your face for all eternity. Given the options I’d choose eternal bliss too.

All this fuss about an afterlife, holy men, holy books, miracles, gods, etc… distracts us from one simple truth. The truth of our mortality. We are mortal everyone. Mostly likely everyone reading this will cease to exist in a hundred years. Most of us will be forgotten. You are not special. You won’t be in heaven or in hell. You won’t be a god. You won’t be sleeping with 100 virgins. These are stories meant to control you, to make you feel special and to scare the crap out of you.

Simple plain unrefined non-existence, game over, the end. Our brief time has passed. Realizing this makes life so much more precious. Be thankful you’ve had a chance to experience it. Enjoy life. Enjoy sentience. It’s a rare experience.

14. DISGUSTED READER - March 16, 2010


My Brother,………………………………………………………………….

15. Jon - March 22, 2010

jesuses death was truely worthless with people like you. Many claim it is impossible to know what he was thinking, but it is so obvious. Jesus wanted the meaningless violence to stop, but apparently none have listened. whats the point to eternal salvation when people are still suffering in this life, aithiests are always trying there hardest to make people stop believing in a higher power, because it is stupid and irrational. not all things in life are rational, so to argue that it is wrong simply because it is beyond your limit of critical thinking, we have yet to discover evidence on either side, so just because God can not be proven at the moment, who knows if that will be true for the rest of earths days.

16. JAY - July 15, 2010


17. shaunphilly - July 15, 2010

WOW…All caps, no substance.

I have read the Bible. I’m an atheist and I’m not miserable (I can be sad sometimes, but aren’t we all?). Christians never do anything wicked?

You will never stop believing? How do you know?

What explosion? Learn some science, please.

18. JAY - July 15, 2010


19. JAY - July 15, 2010

the big bang and who said christians didnt do bad things thats why jesus died for us cause we christians could be goin straight to hell u smart alic and yes i kno my science im intelligent and its a gift from god and i didnt say ALL atheist are miserable and yes we are sad sometimes but sense atheist dont have the spirit of god warning them with things they do tend to do things like killin them selves or killin others etc.

20. Ebere O - August 19, 2010

pls my brother kin in to holy bible, i pray that the spirit that the lord Jesus give us will lead you into the true. it will sure you the true and the true will save you. your not the one that made your self isn’t it. okey. do you ask your self how your great-great etc mother and father came in into this world. who created them is God. you no that Adam and Even have sin and it result for our death. do you no about law of moses. is very good law but it made us to be weak and fade away and near our grave. why? because it show us our sin and the reward for that which is death. but because God so much love the world HE has created in the begnining HE now send his only son to come in form of human being, to be part of us in this world to come and take away the sin the Adama and Eve, so that will can be at peace with the God in heaven. without JESUS CHRIST taking away our sin, we can not make peace with God. Adam and Eve brought sin to the world but our LORD JESUS CHIRST take it away for us so that we can make peace with GOD. Please have faith remeber is only you faith in God can set you free. bless are those that have faith in HIM. if you believe JESUS CHIRST take away your sin your save and at peace with GOD.

21. shaunphilly - August 19, 2010

I’m sorry, was that supposed to be English?

22. Quotes from Bizarro World (2) « The atheist, polyamorous, skeptic - September 11, 2010

[…] Son and all that, right? We should feel thankful, shouldn’t we?  Well, I have addressed Jesus’ ‘sacrifice‘ before, and I don’t think much of it.  I know the whole “fully God, fully […]

23. Quotes From Bizarro World: part 3 « The atheist, polyamorous, skeptic - September 20, 2010

[…] I see now.  The Trinity becomes a doctrine to explain how Jesus, his so-called sacrifice, is able to have theological import.  The Trinity is a solution to a problem of getting to where […]

24. Stanley Huggins - April 10, 2012

if someone believes in jesus, then that someone do not believe in the true god. GOD the spirit. but believes in a story told by man. I personally do not believe that a woman can be impregnated by a ghost, a holy ghost at that. what happened to the commandment that says thou shalt not coveth thy neighbours wife? Then the product of this affair goes on to bring a dead person back to life, (lazarus) And finally he dies and after three days comes back to life. All these events goes contrary to the laws of nature, contrary to the laws of GOD. God lives inside of us, but so too does the devil,so there lies the trinity, the person and a choice between good (GOD) and evil (devil)

shaunphilly - April 10, 2012


So, let me get this straight; your objection to the Jesus mythology is that it is in opposition to the laws of nature. Isn’t anything spiritual against the laws of nature?

That is, if you willmake an exception for a spiritual god in general, but not for specific things said god might decide to do, you are making a pretty significant error in logic.

My opposition to the jesus story does have to do with the improbability of it, but I find no reason for anything spiritual primarily, and subsequently reject Christian mythology.

25. CESAR VERSATTI - August 28, 2012

Its time to made New God .

26. Meaning of the Jesus Story; History v. mythology « atheist, polyamorous, skeptics - November 22, 2012

[…] out of the way of a car, saving your life and sacrificing theirs, that has more import.  For many, Jesus’ sacrifice, is seen as the superlative sacrifice.  Further, it transcends the mere saving of a short mortal […]

27. 5 years | atheist, polyamorous skeptics - February 12, 2014

[…] favorite post about Christianity is this one about how Jesus’ death (even if it happened) is not a sacrifice at all.Also, I wrote about how the love of god is misplaced, with a little science geekery mixed in. […]

28. Was the crucifixion of Jesus a sacrifice? | Shadow in the Mirror - February 12, 2014

[…] Was the crucifixion of Jesus a sacrifice?. […]

29. instagram followers - July 22, 2014

each time i used to read smaller articles which also clear their motive,
and that is also happening with this post which I am reading at this time.

30. JPA - July 10, 2015

For DISGUSTED READER above, you need to stop cyberbullying. Just because you are atheist that does not mean you have to swear at another person for his/her religious beliefs. You think that there is no God and you may be thinking that God is dead well guess what? The truth is not in you and you don’t know Him. I can guarantee you this: if you do not repent your sins and if Christ comes, it’s not pretty. I believe that God’s NOT dead and His Son Jesus, who is both God and Man, died for our sins on Calvary so I suggest you watch God’s Not Dead some point.

31. Semper Patrioticus - March 19, 2016

Believe it or not there has been some doubt over this and the only things that really lend any credibility to the Cruxifiction is Pontus Pilate’s use of this method of execution to put down several violent revolts. After one such revolt he had the rebels literally “pinned up” on the outer walls of Jerusalem in order to keep the violent and angry Jewish population in check. (Yes, you would be violent and angry too if a foreign people came to your land and tried to change everything) Now we know from historical sources (sources outside of the Bible) that John was beheaded. One question I asked myself is: “Why not Jesus?” and the quick answer is this: He was arrested inside of Pontus Pilates jurisdiction. John was arrested with Herod’s jurisdiction. Did Pontus Pilate exist? Yes, his name was found in an inscription AND we have writings surviving from that time that do say that yes, he was the Governor of Judea and yes, he lost a powerful patron in Rome and the strangely indecisive behavior from him during the trial and prosecution of Jesus was a result of the loss of that patron. (who had been shielding him from the Emperor) What about Jesus Himself? Did he exist? Well we do know that there was a number of maggids (preachers) wandering Judea at the time but the maggids had to preach from the authority of a powerful Rabbi or risk arrest and stoning. Also Eusebius points out that a statue (not religious in nature but was put up as an honor) was erected for a traveling healer named Jesus who had cured a sick woman in that town. The town was not even Christian at the time the statue was put up so there is a major hint there that He did indeed exist. Feel free to disagree with me but when you argue with provable facts you just make yourself look stupid.

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