This sacrifice idea as explained by Yael is fairly accurate – it even appears in Hebrews (whoever wrote that letter)…no one is forgiven for ‘intentional sins’ by a sacifice.
Heb 10:26 “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”
Point being, sacrifices covered unintentional sins – this makes sense – even if Jesus were this type of sacrifice – he covers the problem of ‘ignorance’. Once we are no longer ignorant – then there is no true excuse for committing a sin. I can admit that makes sense (to some small degree).
However, if the problem is ignorance why a ’sacrifice’? Because ignorance needs lenses to realize it’s severity. Even sins of ignorance suck pretty bad. I can see Jesus as an example of this – possibly?
However, Jesus’ teaching is repentance – not sacrifice – for your sins. His first words in Matthew are ‘repent for the kingdom of heaven is near’…or ‘turn from your sins NOW – on earth – and live a new kingdom ethic”. Nothing about sacrifice in Matthew to be honest – unless we talk about our own sacrifice of our lives for doing ‘good’ (keeping 100% in line with real repentance/responsibility – and with Jesus’ own actions in his life).
However, there is no ‘need’ for sacrifice after we are no longer ‘ignorant’…we know what we need to do and we know what we did that was ‘wrong/sin’. I don’t need to slice a lamb’s neck for adultery – makes no sense at all – when that lamb won’t help me see more clearer my ignorance anymore…no no no…we both know when we ‘mess up’. We need teshuvah – action on our part (not some lambs anymore) to admit responsibilty and move forward in repairing the break in the ‘wall’.
Jesus may very well have been a sacrifice, we all may very well be sacrifices – but is it a worthwhile enough life to call that? Life should contain ideas of being sacrificial – so as to be summed up as such. Maybe this is the point of Jesus? Maybe this is the repair with God we needed? (I am talking about the movement of responsibility onto us – being responsible for our actions – including in and up to death – don’t blame God type thing)
***Comment taken from Yael’s ‘Giving Up Your Rights’ blog entry