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The Crucifixion was Assisted Suicide

5 comments
essay.pngYeah, the title's to get your attention - but this is a serious theological thought experiment.  Put the horror and outrage to the side for a second, and work through the implications here with me.

For Christians, this is the day that we commemorate that Jesus was crucified as a sacrifice for our sins.  (Specific dogmas vary a bit on the "original sin" thing, but the basic point is usually accepted.)  And while there is variance as to "how" divine Jesus was -- man, fully man AND fully God, or just fully God made flesh -- there is agreement that Jesus knew it was coming.

Maybe it was just a matter of knowing that Judas had betrayed Him, but it's not usually presented that way.  Some faiths assert that Baby Jesus knew from day one the whole deal.  (Hence the myrrh.)  When Jesus went to Gethsemane and prayed, He knew.  Knew he was going to die if He continued on the same course, and did it anyway.

Now here's my serious question - suicide is frowned upon by nearly every Christian denomination.  And Jesus effectively committed suicide by cop.

"Ah," says my hypothetical reader, "but Jesus wasn't seeking destruction.  He was doing something necessary and for a good cause.  So it's totally different."

Sort of.  Those three points have their own problems.  Necessary and for a good cause suddenly provide one heck of a big loophole in the "no suicide" argument.  They take the rule of "no suicide" and make it into "no suicide unless it's for a really good reason."  (And then we're just negotiating the price.)

Not seeking destruction seems like it would be the important bit, but there's two problems with that.  First, it's based on the idea that there can only be one reason or cause for something... and that all others are irrelevant.  Jumping on a grenade may save your comrades -- but you're sure as hell not trying to save your own skin.  And second, we've made actions irrelevant -- only intention matters when determining if something is right or wrong.  (And we know what's paved with good ones of those!)

Every way I try to cut it, Jesus knowing that he was going to His destruction -- and choosing to do so despite knowing how easy it would have been to skirt Jerusalem -- creates a huge theological sticky wicket.

Your thoughtful comments are welcome -- and if you know a way to resolve this ethical/theological conflict, please DO tell me!

5 comments :

0mnif00l said...

I have to call your argument void on this one friend. Jesus knew who he was,probably by his teens, and knew it was his father's plan to have him preach, and be crucified. This we already agree upon. If you go back through what he said, he talks about all these things multiple times and also mentions that he will be resurrected multiple times as well.

0mnif00l said...

I have to call your argument void on this one friend. Jesus knew who he was,probably by his teens, and knew it was his father's plan to have him preach, and be crucified. This we already agree upon. If you go back through what he said, he talks about all these things multiple times and also mentions that he will be resurrected multiple times as well.

Steven Saus said...

Not sure how that makes my argument void; if anything, foreknowledge (sure foreknowledge, rather than "God told me to have faith") of the resurrection doesn't obviates suicide-by-Roman, but does render meaningless the sacrifice and humanity on the cross.

Dhavar said...

Obviously it was a "sacrifice". Any sacrifice is done through the death of someone, necessarily.
Since the whole deal was conceived from eternity by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit it was a completely "private deal" between them. In such drama ee are almost nothing but just the knife.
The Killer: The Father
The Killed: The Son.
The Blade: We (Man as such, not Romans or Jews or Herodes, etc.)

It would not have been different if the action woudl have been like this:

"Then, Jesus climbed to a Mountain and jumped from the top and got killed. And, by this sacrifice - self inmolation - got, etc. etc."

Then, we would say "Jesus was killed by the force of gravity, by Earth itself (playing here the role of the Jews).

But the important question that Christian do not dare to ask themselves is : Why is necessary to kill violently an innocent to re establish the order of things once a sin is committed?

How is possible that Christians rely so happily on the monstruous and nasty institution of the scape goat?

Because it is a win-win deal for them, sinners. Someone would take the pain and horror and death and get me released from my sins. Nice deal, isn´t it?

Dhavar said...

Besides, the Church aknowledges fully with the idea that it was a suicide.
In Roman Catholic mass it is often said of Jesus that he is "Priest, Victim and Altar". If he is priest, then he is the killer, the sacrificer.
They simply are afraid of following their own ideas through the end and prefer to name a "suicide- that-brings-life to others" a "sacrifice", because they not know at all what the hell a sacrifice is, and so the whole thing gets conveniently hidden.