How is Christ a sacrificial lamb?

Now that we are re-thinking the sacrificial system and how it pertains to Jesus’s sacrifice, many questions arise. Here a Presbyterian asks a key question over on PTM’s website, and Brad Jersak provides a clear and really helpful response…

https://www.ptm.org/q-r-how-is-christ-a-sacrificial-lamb-brad-jersak

Understanding Sacrifice

Where there is love, there is sacrifice.

Just two highlights from a fascinating article on Jewish sacrifice:

“…some people thought of sacrifices as a kind of bribe: if we make a generous enough gift to God then He may overlook our crimes and misdemeanours”… “This is an idea radically incompatible with Judaism.”

“In other faiths the driving motive behind sacrifice was fear: fear of the anger and power of the gods. In Judaism it was love.

We see this in the Hebrew word for sacrifice itself: the noun korban, and the verb lehakriv, which mean, “to come, or bring close”. The name of God invariably used in connection with the sacrifices is Hashem, God in his aspect of love and compassion, never Elokim, God as justice and distance. ”

https://www.ou.org/torah/parsha/rabbi-sacks-on-parsha/understanding-sacrifice/

What proponents of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) Theory need to address

References to Christ as a sin offering, a ransom, an atoning sacrifice, a passover lamb prove nothing about wrath or punishment

Proof Texts Unchecked

The arguments for PSA rely heavily on the same set of Bible verses. What is clear is that most of these are generic and common to all atonement theories. References to Christ as a sin offering, a ransom, an atoning sacrifice, a passover lamb prove nothing about wrath or punishment. These verses are also embraced within Ransom theory, Recapitulation, Scapegoat theory etc.  Yet, despite their commonality across Atonement Theories, they are constantly traipsed out and used in defence of PSA. That Christ was pierced for our transgressions is universally acknowledged by all atonement theories, and so to bring it into the argument for PSA is surely an act of wilful misleading. Continue reading “What proponents of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) Theory need to address”