Wednesday, April 06, 2005

searching for insight

Tonight I was posed with a very difficult question. The queestion went something like this: "If the cross and Jesus death was the only way for our sins to be forgiven then how could Jesus have told people that their sins were forgiven before He was sacrificed?"

Many things went through my head. First I thought "well Jesus was God so He has that power, right?" This didn't satisfy me because that would deem His death on the cross useless. That would raise seriouse issues with God's character, why would a loving God watch His son be beaten and killed for no reason at least not for the reason of forgiveness of sin. He could do it anyway right?

I also thought that maybe there were circumstantial relations between the instances Jesus told people that Their sins were forgiven that made them special. Well, this simply raised the same issues as before.

I guess what I am doing in posting this is searching for insight. If you have any Ideas on the subject I'd like to hear them. I'll continue thinking about it and we'll come to some sort of conclusion.

8 comments:

Ashley said...

WOW!!

I don't have an answer but I will tell you the thoughts that went through my head as I was reading your post.

I first thought that Jesus knew that what needed to take place was going to take place very soon, therefore he said your sins are forgiven, knowing they would be soon. But then that would make Jesus a liar, if that would have been the case, Jesus would have said "your sins will be forgiven in just a few weeks"

Well I will continue to think about that one. Great question to whomever asked it.

WES ELLIS said...

Yeah I relate. I'm not closed off to there being some cultural difference that would give him merit to say such a thing without being deemed a "liar." But as long as we view it in our cultural context and assume they would be the same in comparrison, that just wouldn't really explain it.

Danny said...

There is obvious theological significance to the statement. The pharisees in the story of the paralytic answered Jesus saying, "Who can forgive sins but God alone" and "This fellow is blaspheming." Theologically, it was meant to show that Jesus has all authority on heaven and earth.

I think the largest problem is the dichotomy posed between the Synoptic gospels and the more Pauline epistles along with John's gospel. They both are attempting to display parts of who Jesus is, but they seem to do it in different ways. I'm going to continue looking into this and try to find more about this.

Danny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AMDugall said...

well, my thoughts are kinda along a big scale. when Jesus died on the cross, He said, "it is finished". ever think about the fact that God lives out of space and time? so, by Jesus forgiving sins before he was crucified, it just didn't fit into our timeline. in God's view, His death was just the culmination of the covenant. the crucifixtion was God's judgement being fulfilled for past, present, future, and everything in between. maybe im wrong, but just a thought. anyways, wes is blogging...fricken awesome

WES ELLIS said...

dugall

You have no idea how excited I am to see you commenting on my blog.

To respond to your comment... I haven't yet thought of it that way. It does sustain that the cross is still about the forgiveness of sin, and I like that but I'm afraid im still a bit skeptical about it. I'm not sure if it's really consistant with Jesus normal language. Was it normal for Jesus to speak of things outside a "timeline" existance? Would it be possible that this is unique in that way? That Jesus just this once was speaking in this way?

I like your take on this. I'm willing to take accept this view but if I do it'll still be a little cloudy... like most theology. Thanks bro you got great insight!

Ashley said...

Dugall (Aaron I think) :)

That was an amazing way of looking at the whole situation. I think that really makes a lot of sense!!

Wesley,

In all honesty did Jesus have a "regular" way of doing anything?

WES ELLIS said...

Well in all honesty... my analysis of Jesus "regular" was of talking is not based on His method but logical content. Jesus would have had to be thinking on a totally different plain than the people he was taking to. I am willing to accept that Jesus was not concerned with logical consistancy, but that would be the only way to properly take on this theology. In fact I'm darn close to accepting it.

They hear "your sins are forgiven" He's saying "to me your sins are forgiven because of what I did on the cross" (even tho He hasn't been there yet on the timeline) This sounds good but does it make sense? I'm still deciding.
Thanks agin Dugall you're stretching me.