Many question the character of a God who would allow His Son to be mocked, ridiculed, tortured and whipped beyond recognition, and then hung on a cross to die. They see the cross & the brutal shedding of Jesus’ blood as morbid.
Conversely, Christians see the cross as a symbol of God’s forgiveness, hope, & victory as it reminds believers that Jesus conquered sin, Satan, and the power of death. For believers, the cross signifies a God who loves humanity so much that He was willing to come to earth and take on the entire world’s pain, suffering and sin to pave the way for salvation and reconciliation.
Biblical scripture states that Jesus Christ alone had the authority and ability to pay the heavy cost of humanity’s sins, & that He did so when He sacrificed His life for all of humanity on the cross.
But why did the Almighty God not think up a better, less violent way to save humanity? Because the “atoning blood of Jesus” was necessary. But, why? I didn’t understand until I read the Torah and got a deeper understanding of the Mosaic laws written in the book of Leviticus.
The Torah explains that in order to keep the spiritual agreement between YHWH and His people, the ancient Jews were required to strictly obey all of the laws that He dictated to Moses. Certain crimes were capital offenses of the law and were seen as intentional sin & punishable by death. Even if a Jew unintentionally broke one of the Lord’s commandments, Mosaic law dictated that this person must give a sin offering to pay off the debt of their sin and receive YHWH’s forgiveness.
The law instructed the Israelites to sacrifice and shed blood of innocent animals in order to atone for each violation of God’s law. While the animal was being sacrificed, the sinner was instructed to place their hand on the head of the animal as it was believed that the animal was dying in place of the sinner and acting as a substitute.
Christians believe that Jesus was the perfect once-and-for-all substitute sacrifice. Just as the innocent animals died for the sins of the ancient Jew, Jesus died for all of humanity’s sins.