The Instigator
Percivil
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
philochristos
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Did Jesus really need to be crucified?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 861 times Debate No: 110758
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Percivil

Pro

Take it as an alarm clock for us. Jesus"s mission was to save us from sin and part of the process was to make us realise we were sinners. Which was a wake up call for us. And also there is a reason why jesus was called the LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD. During jesus"s time when a person does something wrong, he/she will somehow pass on the fault to a lamb and the lamb would be killed for the mistake. So jesus was a lamb who took all our sins and beared the consequence for us. Not to mention if he didn"t we would all still be sinners and worst case scenario following a false god. And yes we still sin today but because of jesus"s death we have a chance to redeem ourselves through confession and promise not to sin again. Yes many of us sin again after confession but at least we have the chance to redeem ourselves again. Yes that is breaking a promise but if you look at the bigger picture we are clean from sin again. So if jesus didnt get crucified will we still be able to save ourselves from sin? Proove to me otherwise
philochristos

Con

Good evening, and thank you for coming to tonight's debate.

The subject of tonight's debate is in the form of a yes/no question: "Did Jesus really need to be crucified?" As Pro, my opponent takes the "yes" side of the debate, and as Con, I take the "no" side.

Pro's argument appears to be that if Jesus had not been crucified, we would still be in our sins, or we would still have to suffer the wrath of God for our sins, or something along those lines. But if you'll look closely, Pro only made the case that Jesus' death was necessary to atone for sins. He never made the case that his death had to be by crucifixion. If Jesus could have accomplished the same atonement-by-death through some other type of execution, then Pro's case will collapse, and I will have won the debate.

Pro and I could probably both point to a miriade of passages showing that Jesus death paid the penalty due to sinners for their sins. Jesus happened to do that by being crucified. But suppose instead of being crucified, Pilate had ordered Jesus to be beheaded, burned at the stake, run through with a sword, hung by the neck, etc. Any of those other other methods of execution would have accomplished the same thing--the death of Jesus. There is no reason to think Jesus' death in those cases couldn't have just as easily atoned for sins as his death by crucifixion did. There is nothing inherent in the process of crucifixion that accomplishes atonement for sins when nothing else could, so Pro's position in this debate is untenable. Jesus could have atoned for sins if he had been hung by a rope around his neck instead of being crucified.
Debate Round No. 1
Percivil

Pro

The reason why jesus had to be crucified and not die by hanging or getting a sword stabbed within him,etc. is very simple. As mentioned in my first argument his death was a wake up call for us.He had to die in such a way. The Father had planned for specifically this type of execution because it so perfectly depicts so many things necessary for a full comprehension of sin and its horrors. This wouldve been a wake up call for us.

Today we execute criminals by a variety of means: lethal injection, gas, firing squad, hanging or electric chair. In Jesus' time, the Romans preferred crucifixion.

A primary factor in Jesus' death is that it was substitutionary. For each sin we commit, we earn the death penalty. This penalty cannot be paid by dying a natural death of old age, by accident or by disease, for this is the way everyone dies as a matter of course. Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed for men to die once." If "merely" dying any old way were the payment for sin, idolaters, murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers and other sinners would be completely absolved of their sins upon their deaths. Cleared of all guilt by death, they would legally qualify for entrance into God's Kingdom.

However, we must remember the rest of verse 27: ". . . but after this the judgment." Thus, even after a person's physical death, he is brought under judgment. This means the penalty for sin is something more than "just" death. Verse 22 helps to clarify this: "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." Sin cannot be forgiven until someone pours out his blood to cover the transgression. The penalty for sin is therefore death by execution.

So, as a substitutionary sacrifice, Jesus had to die the way we would have, by execution. He could not have paid the penalty for our sins by dying any way other than by execution. He could not have died by suicide or even "euthanasia," as these forms of death would have been sin, disqualifying Him as Savior. He would then have had to die for His own sin.

Remember also that Jesus' death resulted from a pronouncement of Pilate, when he handed Jesus over "to be crucified" (John 19:13-16; Matthew 27:26). Though Pilate literally washed his hands of the whole affair by saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it" (Matthew 27:24), he made the judgment and sentenced Him to death.

Of course, Jesus was not guilty of any crime or sin. Our sins brought on us the death penalty. In taking the penalty on Himself, Jesus had to die by execution, and crucifixion was Rome's preferred means.

God also allowed His Son to suffer crucifixion because it was a very shameful way to die. It was the death of criminals and incorrigibles, for those considered "the scum of the earth." No one in Jesus' day would have bragged that his uncle had been crucified any more than we would be proud of a relative who was executed by electric chair. To make matters worse, Jesus was crucified between two robbers (Matthew 27:38). The typical passerby would have judged Jesus guilty by association.

Why and how does shame enter the picture? Why did Jesus have to die a shameful death? Sin causes shame. Sin is shameful. Jesus died a shameful death to depict the shame brought on by our sins. It is shameful to be known as a thief, a pervert, an adulterer, a liar or a murderer. It should be shameful to be known as an idolater or one who takes God's name in vain, breaks the Sabbath or disrespects his parents. Sin does not make us look good, nor does it make our family proud of us. Sin is shameful. We should be ashamed to sin!

Crucifixion was shameful not only as a penalty, but also as a process. In most cases, the victim was stark naked"allowed little or no loin cloth. The Bible in many places discusses the shame of nakedness (Isaiah 47:3; Revelation 3:18; 16:15). Imagine being a sinless person, having committed no crime or sin, yet exposed to all who passed by. Being a modest man, Jesus was ashamed to have to be exposed to His mother and the other women, the apostle John and a multitude of spectators, male and female. What humiliation our Savior endured for us!

The theme of "the shame of the cross" is discussed in Scripture. Notice two passages in Hebrews.

. . . looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (12:2)

. . . if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (6:6)

Jesus also had to die a death that was excruciatingly painful. Why? To depict the horrible pain that sin causes. It would not have served God's purpose if He had died a painless death. The picture would have been incomplete.

Any criminal of that time would have despaired to learn he was to be crucified. Crucifixion was not only an execution, but also a method of torture. The Romans usually gave the victim an excruciating scourging first. Jesus was no exception. Before He ever touched His cross, He was scourged, beaten and insulted.

Over the years we have heard quite a bit about the Roman lictor, the soldier charged with dispensing this dreaded punishment. He used a whip, often with imbedded pieces of metal, bone or other sharp objects. Romans did not limit their lictors to the Israelite practice of "forty stripes save one," nor to striking just the victim's back. He would let the whip strike and wrap around every inch of the person's body until he was within an inch of death.

The prophet Isaiah prophesies how Jesus appeared after the scourging: "Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage [appearance, margin] was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men" (Isaiah 52:14). He goes on to say that He was "wounded [pierced through, margin] for our transgressions, He was bruised [crushed] for our iniquities" (53:5). Is it no wonder that the apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:8, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Imagine yourself in Christ's situation, with the skin flayed off so that you could count all your bones. Add to that the searing pain of huge nails being pounded into your hands and ankles as soldiers pinned you to the stake. Now add the emotional pain of being denied and forsaken by all your friends. Thank God for the many women who stood by Jesus at that moment of horror"Mary His mother, Mary Magdalene and others (Matthew 27:55-56). On top of everything else, He had to endure the taunts and ridicules of those for whom He was dying.

Then Jesus experienced yet another horror for the first time: being forsaken by God in heaven. God dumped all the obnoxious sins of the world on Jesus and had to turn His back on Him who became sin for us (Isaiah 53:6, 10-12; I Peter 2:24). How hauntingly mournful it must have sounded to hear Jesus cry out, "'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?'" (Matthew 27:46-47). At this point, Jesus learned what it felt like to be cut off from God because of sin.

The pain grew so great that when Jesus said He thirsted, the Roman soldiers at the foot of His cross offered Him a brew of "vinegar" or sour wine mixed with myrrh as a sedative (John 19:28-29; Mark 15:23). Jesus refused it, knowing He had to suffer pain as part of the picture of what sin does in our lives: causes a lot of gruesome pain!

So although many of us think that he couldve died in a faster way like being hung or stabbed etc, dont you see that if we hadnt seen him suffer all this pain, we wouldnt have realised that we were sinners and looking at the church today there wont be a thing called confession for us.

This is why jesus had to be crucified
philochristos

Con

In this round, Pro attempted to patch up his previous argument by giving reasons for why Jesus' death had to be a crucifixion, so I will respond to those reasons.

Let me begin with where I agree with Pro. Pro argues that Jesus' death had to be by some sort of execution. It could not have been death by old age or any sort of natural cause. There had to be the "shedding of blood."

But then there were several things a death by crucifixion satisfied that no other method of execution would. Together, these things serve as a "wake up call" that would give people a "full comprehension of sin and its horrors." So let's go through them one at a time.

1. Jesus had to die by execution, crucifixion was Rome's method of execution, therefore, Jesus had to die by crucifixion.

There are a couple of things wrong with this argument. First, Jesus didn't have to die at the hands of the Romans. If the Jewish authorities had executed him, it would've had the same effect. Or, if the Babylonians had been in power instead of the Romans, and if the Babylonians had executed him, that also could've served the purpose. Second, crucifixion was not the only means by which Romans put people to death. Crucifixion was reserved for certain types of criminals, especially revolutionaries--people who gathered a following and were somehow a threat to the peace of Rome. Third, even if crucifixion was the only means by which Rome happened to put people to death, it's not the only means they could've used to put people to death. So if they only crucified as a capital punishment, it wouldn't follow that Jesus had to be crucified in order to atone for sins. After all, suppose Jesus had come a thousand years later. Would that means Jesus could not have atoned for sins since there was no Roman empire? Of course not!

2. Jesus' death had to be shameful; crucifixion is shameful; therefore, Jesus' death had to be by crucifixion.

Supposing for the moment that Jesus' death had to be shameful before it could pay the penalty for sin, Pro's argument would only work if he could show that crucifixion was the ONLY shameful way to die. But he didn't show that. And, in fact, some of the reasons Pro gave for why crucifixion is shameful would apply to any method of execution. He says, "It is shameful to be known as a thief, a pervert, an adulterer, a liar or a murderer," and that's how people saw those who hung on a cross. But wouldn't the same be true of anybody who was being executed by any other means? As long as they're being executed, regardless of the means, they're being treated like somebody who has committed a capital offense. So any execution would've been a shameful execution.

By why think shame in front of an unbelieving audience had anything to do with Jesus atoning for sin? Pilate had Jesus' offense nailed to the cross with Jesus, and it read that Jesus was the king of the Jews. That was what he was being crucified for--his claim to be the messiah. That is the offense the audience would've observed. Nobody could've seen Jesus taking on the sins of the world. Nobody would've looked at Jesus and observed that he was being punished for the sins of all the elect through all of the ages. So shame could not have been the basis of Jesus' atonement.

3. Jesus' death had to be torture; crucifixion is torture; therefore, his death had to be by crucifixion.

This argument commits the same logically fallacy as the previous argument. Crucifixion is not the ONLY thing that is torturous. Being drawn and quartered, slowly, would've also been both bloody and torturous. Being run through with a sword, would've also been bloody and torturous. But why think torture was necessary to atone for sins? Remember that Jesus was foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the sacrifice of lambs and goats. Those lambs and goats merely had their throats cuts so that they bled to death. Other than the pain of having their throats cuts, they were not gratuitously tortured, yet their deaths paid for sins. It was the spilling of blood that was essential, not shame or torture. The New Testament emphasizes the shame, fear, anguish, and torture Jesus endured, not because those things somehow contributed to the atonement, but because they demonstrated the love and humility of Christ in going through with it.

The issue in some of what Pro said was not whether this or that method of execution would've been sufficient to atone for sins, but whether it would've given us a full comprehension of sin and its horrors. I'm not sure death by crucifixion, by itself, DOES give us a full comprehension of sin and its horrors. After all, the penalty each unsaved person must face for their sins is far worse than crucifixion. Jesus was tortured for less than 24 hours before he died; then he was resurrected to eternal life. But an unsaved person will endure the wrath of God for eternity, not a mere 24 hours. Besides that, it's not necessary for us to have a full comprehension of sin and its horrors in order for Jesus to have atoned for sins. Suppose some of us don't realize how torturous crucifixion is. In that case, the crucifixion couldn't possible give us a full comprehension of sin and its horrors. Would that mean Jesus' death didn't atone for our sins? Surely not! So our subjective awareness of the horror of crucifixion contributes nothing to the efficacy of the atonement.
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
If no one votes on this by Thursday night, message me. This is a debate has an obvious winner.
Posted by Nicholaspanda 3 years ago
Nicholaspanda
I don't think even an atheist would disagree with you.
No votes have been placed for this debate.

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