Cruelty In The Bible?
Did God require His Son to be tortured?
THE CLAIMED CRUELTY: He [God] required the torture and murder of his own son (e.g., Romans 3:24-25)
...being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; - Romans 3:24-25
I'm not sure why the humanist who wrote their web page selected this scripture. As usual, they don't explain themselves. They seem to be just throwing accusations out and hoping that maybe one or two will stick. But, in this case it would seem they could come up with a better scripture for this accusation. All four gospels describe the physical torture and death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
In addition, the verses they have referenced from Romans are being ripped out of their context... which is that of Paul answering a question: How can a man be in the right before God? That's a truly important question. And the answer is... only through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
But... without regard to the scripture the humanist reference, let's look at the claim they have asserted: God required the torture and murder of his own son.
There are certainly a lot of emotion packed words there. As with other humanists statements they are trying to influence the reader to come to a wrong conclusion by using misleading and emotion packed language. Let's learn the truth in a logical, step-by-step manner:
- Humanity had a major problem that, if not addressed, would have resulted in the destruction of all of humanity.
- Humans are unique, we are created in the image of God
- As God's image bearers we have a responsibility to correctly represent God's character
- The Ten Commandments describe God's character. To violate any of the Ten Commandments is to violate God's character
- The problem is: we all (no exceptions) violate God's character. This is called breaking God's laws - we all sin.
- Violation of God's character (breaking God's law) brings physical and spiritual death
- Spiritual death means separation from God
- Separation from God means loss of EVERYTHING that is good. EVERYTHING!
- Separation from God is described as the eternal lake of fire
- God loves you very much... more than you can imagine
- God is not only love, He is just. That means He must punish lawbreaking. There must be justice.
- That means every human being is heading for the eternal lake of fire.
- Since we all have our own penalty for sin that we have justly earned, we do not have the ability to pay anyone else's penalty. Only someone who is totally free from sin can pay the sin penalty on behalf of someone else.
- God created you to live with Him. Now we all are separated from Him and there is NOTHING we humans can do to fix this problem. Only God can fix it.
- God cannot just forgive everyone. That is not just.
- God could just wipe away sin and make us into puppets, with no will or desires of our own. But God does not want to make us mindless puppets.
- If someone else were to pay our penalty for sin, then justice would be served and we are free from sin's penalty and can join God in eternity.
- Jesus (God) came to earth as a human to pay our penalty for sin, giving us eternal life
- Jesus lived a sinless life
- On the cross Jesus took the full wrath of God for all of our sin
- Jesus was physically dead and buried. But on the third day He rose from the dead, demonstrating there is truly life after death.
- God has given us free will. He wants us to accept the gift of life He offers, but He does not force us to accept His gift.
- In our free will we can believe or not believe. If we believe, trusting that Jesus Christ did die and fully pay our penalty for sin, we receive this as a free gift.
Who put Jesus on the cross? You did. Your sin did. God did not require Jesus to go to the cross, you put Him there. There was no other option.
What was Jesus' attitude about going to the cross? He willingly went to the cross out of love for you. God did not require that the Son be tortured and killed... That is a false statement. Jesus willingly went to the cross because He loves you and wants you to live.
I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. - John 10:17b-18a
Conclusion: It was because of your sin that Jesus went to the cross. He did it on His own initiative, out of love for you, so that you might have life. There is nothing evil or immoral here, just love.
Next example: [God is cruel because] he promised to send non-Christians to eternal torture (e.g., Revelation 21:8).
Click here... yes, all non-Christians end up in the eternal lake of fire and brimstone, but God doesn't send them there.