When you ask a Christian why Jesus died on the cross, they will almost automatically all answer “to pay for our sins.” This has become a deep rooted Christian belief that is widely taught in churches across the world. It has been accepted by many as Christian doctrine and been passed down from generation to generation. It’s a statement that has been accepted as fact, and one that is the foundation for many Christians.
Therefore it may come as a surprise then to say that the Bible doesn’t actually say this.
No matter how hard you search, you will not find a single passage in the entire Bible that says anything about Jesus paying the penalty for our sins. That’s because this is a “Christian belief” that the Bible doesn’t teach. Rather it was a theology created by humans.
The technical, theological name for this belief is “penal substitutionary atonement.” This theology was not part of Christian doctrine for the first 1,600 years after Jesus was crucified. The ideas was originated and developed by human beings who were having trouble understanding what the Bible teaches about how Jesus Christ saved humanity. They worked with what they could to better understand Jesus’ teachings, but missed the mark. This lead to a creation of a belief that wasn’t really based on the Bible.
There are some limited verses that speak about Jesus’ death in relation to our sins, but they only point to Jesus’ death somehow being related to our sins, but not that His death was a substitute or penalty because of our sins. His death did not scrub us clean of the sins we would commit in the future, or give us a “free for all” pass to do whatever we wanted. His death is not an excuse for our sins, which the “penal substitutionary atonement” alludes to.
To read some more go to: Beliefnet
Assuming there is no ‘lockdown’ the Progressive Christian Network (QLD) will gather at Merthyr Uniting Church, New Farm, Brisbane next Wednesday, 25th August 2021. 10am Hospitality and Fellowship. 10.30am Seminar starts. If you intend to come and would like to receive some background reading notes for this discussion please contact Paul.