(Original post by RK)
A question for you all....
You're in a situation where you're explaining to someone the Gospel...you explain about God and man and the break down of the relationship between God and man through sin and how it's put right through Jesus and his death on the cross.
The person you're explaining it to is very receptive to what you says and when you've finished they say, 'OK, I get all that about God and sin and that somehow Jesus means we can all be saved. But how does the death of someone, of the son of God, on a cross lead to someone's sins being forgiven?'
How would you respond?
I wish I knew the answer to that myself.
I sympathise with the point that, if God just wanted to let people off the hook, he could have done that without putting Jesus through the horror of death by crucifixion. So I don't think that can be all there is to it.
I'd probably talk first about the symbolism of it all - Jesus is the lamb of God, the new sacrifice. And the point of sacrifice in the OT wasn't so much the animal itself, but rather the way in which the act affected the relationship between God and the one performing it.
Ultimately, though, it's a mystery. In the true sense of the Greek word ????????? (mysterion
) - not something that has yet to be worked out, but "that which, being outside the unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation". When the divine Word becomes flesh, it's never going to be straightforward, and when add to that the fact that this is all to do with relationships ... well, yes, it's going to be confusing. I s'pose one point you could make is that, through his Son, God reaches out to all aspects of sinful humanity, including death.
Maybe someone will be able to give a more straightforward answer than me, though! (Maybe Paul?
) I've seen other people write theology essays on this, but I haven't yet.
EDIT: Lol, I guess TSR doesn't like Greek characters, which makes above (now "?????????") even more mysterious. Go here
if you're curious about the word.