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How do Orthodox Christiasn understand of the cross/ the crucifixion of Jesus?

walter1234

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Protestant Christians emphasize the the cross/the crucifixion of Jesus in the gospel very much.The cross and the the crucification of Jesus means that God was punishing Jesus on cross, and Jesus is saved men from GOd's punishement.

On cross,God laid all the sin of the world on His own son and so Jesus became sin.Since God is holy and rigteouness, he cannot tolerate sin. Thus, He poured out full of wrath on his own son , punish and kill Him. Thus,Jesus took upon himself the wrath and punishment of Father on the cross ,so the believers would not be punished and killed by God.


How do Orthodox Christians understand of the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus?
 

Cyrillic

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walter1234 said:
The cross and the the crucification of Jesus means that God was punishing Jesus on cross.
:eek:

walter1234 said:
Since God is holy and rigteouness.He poured out full of wrath on his own son , punish and kill Him.
Ah, and how is that righteous?
 

walter1234

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Why must Jesus suffer on the cross ?Why did Jesus not just simply,  go to the hade and destroy the death?

If Jesus did not suffer on the cross, can He still save the world?
 

dhinuus

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walter1234 said:
Why must Jesus suffer on the cross ?Why did Jesus not just simply,  go to the hade and destroy the death?
If Jesus did not suffer on the cross, can He still save the world?
Because Jesus is 100% God; but keep in mind He is 100% man as well. So went through all stages that a man goes through inorder to heal and restore it.

Another reason is to show us men, how serious He was about it. When you get engaged, you go and buy a very expensive ring and put it on the finger of your fiance. Why?  Why not a cheap plastic ring you can buy from party city ? The expensive ring is to show your seriousness to the commitment / testament that you are making with your fiance.

Christ did not suffer a violent death on the cross for the Father as some might think, so that the blood thirsty Father with anger management issues (as some understand the Father to be) will be finally have His blood thirst quenched. He suffered the most violent death possible on the cross as a 'bride groom' for us His bride; to show us His seriousness to the relationship/commitment / testament. It was the most expensive engagement ring He gave us.

The icon used in Orthodox services of Good Friday is called 'Christ the Bridegroom'

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Christ_the_Bridegroom
 

Cyrillic

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That icon, I don't think it is canonical. It is very kawaii, however.

Edit: you changed it, not fair.
 

dhinuus

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Cyrillic said:
That icon, I don't think it is canonical. It is very kawaii, however.

Edit: you changed it, not fair.
I didnt want the topic to go off track about the icon.  Wanted to keep the focus on this post on 'understanding the crucifixion' of Jesus Christ.. We can start another thread on that icon. I would love to hear why you think that one is not canonical.
 

dzheremi

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The most understandable way I have yet heard it put is essentially that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered not because His Father was mad and bloodthirsty and needed to be "satisfied", but rather because we suffered in our human nature likewise, being as we were (before His coming) slaves to sin and death. Meaning that it is the case that He took on the human nature because "that which is not assumed is not saved, but that which is united to God is saved" (St. Gregory of Nazianzus), and in taking on our human nature, He willingly suffered the death that we should suffer for our sins, though He Himself had none. To quote the master St. Cyril of Alexandria: "So it is that we say that He both suffered and rose again, not meaning that the Word of God suffered in His own nature...but in so far as that which had become His own body suffered, then He Himself is said to suffer these things, for our sake, because the Impassible One was in the suffering body."  (From his Second Letter to Nestorius; emphasis added)

So it is by truly and completely assuming and sanctifying our human nature that Jesus Christ came to suffer on the cross, not by some pathological need of the Father for blood. As has been pointed out at Jewish resources, blood sacrifice was of limited usefulness for atonement in Old Israel, and indeed not even entirely necessary to obtain forgiveness (see Jonah 3 for the example of Jonah and the people of Nineveh). How could this be if God the Father, the God of Israel, were so bloodthirsty? How could He forgive the Ninevites without blood? Because that's not what sacrifice is ultimately about. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is once and for all, as the incarnation was once and for all -- sanctifying our human nature, adopting and transforming our abandonment ("Elloi, Elloi, Lemma Sabatchthani"), and cleansing us through His body and blood, not out of terror but out of love and mercy. The chasm has been breached, God and humanity are united. It is finished.
 

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I see a term 'life-giving cross' in some Orthodoxy website. In what way do the cross give men the life?

How do orthodox christian understand of ' God lays all the of all men on Him (jesus)/ Jesus take upon himself the sin of the world', 'Jesus die for our sin', 'remove the wrath of God through Christ( Roman 5:9 )'??
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

walter1234 said:
Protestant Christians emphasize the the cross/the crucifixion of Jesus in the gospel very much.The cross and the the crucification of Jesus means that God was punishing Jesus on cross, and Jesus is saved men from GOd's punishement.

On cross,God laid all the sin of the world on His own son and so Jesus became sin.Since God is holy and rigteouness, he cannot tolerate sin. Thus, He poured out full of wrath on his own son , punish and kill Him. Thus,Jesus took upon himself the wrath and punishment of Father on the cross ,so the believers would not be punished and killed by God.


How do Orthodox Christians understand of the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus?
No, we do not follow the Atonement theory, because it both implies some kind of inferiority of Christ to the Father (which even the Epistles of John discourage) and further overemphasizes punishment rather than forgiveness.  In the Orthodox ontology, God forgives humanity from sin out of His love for us.  The Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ are symbolic actions which symbolize our own daily struggles with sin, and how submission to God's will leads to Grace.  What is this submission? Most often, it is repentance, but it also includes almsgiving, helping out our communities, prayer, and fasting.  At a very basic level it means accepting the realities of our lives each day as God gives them with a bit of Christian dignity and hope :)

To be sure, nobody is more devoted or involved in the Cross as are the Orthodox, it saturates every aspect of our lives.  If I could sort out a difference, I think that Atonement Christians from the Protestant traditions tend to think of the Cross in the same way they think of the Communion, strictly as a commemoration of a singular event in the past, a simple memorial.  In Orthodox, these are symbols of the real spiritual miracles, the Grace of God made substantive and visual so we can help to understand it.  These events did happen once in the past, but we do not just remember them, by Grace we are living them daily, just like the Holy Communion is a literal reality through the Spirit.  We more than just remember, we are living in that same age.


walter1234 said:
I see a term 'life-giving cross' in some Orthodoxy website. In what way do the cross give men the life?

How do orthodox christian understand of ' God lays all the of all men on Him (jesus)/ Jesus take upon himself the sin of the world', 'Jesus die for our sin', 'remove the wrath of God through Christ( Roman 5:9 )'??
Like I mentioned to you on another thread, Sin is death.  When folks are in sin, spiritual they are dead even if walking around seemingly alive in their bodies.  Death is a spiritual reality more so than a physical one.  So before the Cross, we are all dead in our sins, separated from Grace.  Through the Cross humanity and Grace are fully reunited by this literal intersection between the human and the divine.  Now that God has sent His Grace, we are can truly live as we were only really alive in the Garden.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

Nephi

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It should be emphasized that the Orthodox atonement is multifaceted. Christ's death was a sacrifice, a ransom, a conquest, a victory, a moral example, a substitution, and so on. The only main thing it was not would be penal substitution; Christ died in our place, but not because of him taking the Father's punishment upon himself.
 

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Orthodox Christians believe that Christ’s death had nothing to do with satisfying the wrath of God. Rather, Christ’s death served two main purposes. First, Jesus Christ united Himself with humanity in all of its sufferings, sorrows, and pains. He took upon Himself the natural consequence of man’s sin, that is, suffering, rather than the wrath of God the Father for our sins. Second, through His death, Christ annihilated the bonds of death, and in doing so, destroyed the kingdom of Satan (  http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.hk/2011_02_01_archive.html )

Jesus united himself and took upon himself all the suffering ,sarrow, pain, curse,etc which is come from sin itself when he was crucified  and died,rather than god's punishment for our sins. Thus, the sufferings which come from sin iteself would be removed and we will get healing and deliverance from sin.

Is this the teaching of Orthodoxy?
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

walter1234 said:
Orthodox Christians believe that Christ’s death had nothing to do with satisfying the wrath of God. Rather, Christ’s death served two main purposes. First, Jesus Christ united Himself with humanity in all of its sufferings, sorrows, and pains. He took upon Himself the natural consequence of man’s sin, that is, suffering, rather than the wrath of God the Father for our sins. Second, through His death, Christ annihilated the bonds of death, and in doing so, destroyed the kingdom of Satan (  http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.hk/2011_02_01_archive.html )

Jesus united himself and took upon himself all the suffering ,sarrow, pain, curse,etc which is come from sin itself when he is crucified  and died,rather than god's punishment for our sins. Thus, all the sufferings which come from sin iteself would be removed and we will get healing and deliverance from sin.

Is this the teaching of Orthodoxy?
Sort of,  however (a) this is a process more so than an instant becoming and (b) it is really the Grace of God fully manifested it the Divine Mysteries which performs this activities of God to  heal humans from the suffering, pain, and curse of Sin.  Again, we do not really think of it as a matter of avoiding punishment but more so finding the love of God.  After all, Christ bore the Cross out of Love, and He being fully God did not punish Himself, rather, He bears our mistakes and shortcomings (i.e. by His love He forgives them overlooking the reality of the errors)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

walter1234

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Trinity God split up, Father kill Jesus( God kills God ) ,so we will not be killed by God.

God saved us from God.

All these protestant's teaching is really stupid, non-sense and laughable.
 

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

walter1234 said:
Orthodox Christians believe that Christ’s death had nothing to do with satisfying the wrath of God. Rather, Christ’s death served two main purposes. First, Jesus Christ united Himself with humanity in all of its sufferings, sorrows, and pains. He took upon Himself the natural consequence of man’s sin, that is, suffering, rather than the wrath of God the Father for our sins. Second, through His death, Christ annihilated the bonds of death, and in doing so, destroyed the kingdom of Satan (  http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.hk/2011_02_01_archive.html )

Jesus united himself and took upon himself all the suffering ,sarrow, pain, curse,etc which is come from sin itself when he is crucified  and died,rather than god's punishment for our sins. Thus, all the sufferings which come from sin iteself would be removed and we will get healing and deliverance from sin.

Is this the teaching of Orthodoxy?
Sort of,  however (a) this is a process more so than an instant becoming and (b) it is really the Grace of God fully manifested it the Divine Mysteries which performs this activities of God to  heal humans from the suffering, pain, and curse of Sin. 
Exactly. Being saved in the Orthodox understanding is much more than the "fire insurance" of staying out of hell (to borrow a phrase from Antiochian priest Fr. Andrew Damick). To be saved from sin means nothing, or I guess I should say is impossible, if we are not transformed and transfigured, and such things are not once-off happenings that change us ontologically in one moment, but rather are the result of a lifetime of struggle and submission, and, with God's grace through the sacraments, eventual triumph. Even the greatest among us, like St. John Colobos (a personal beacon for me among the many bright lights of the Desert Fathers), warn us to expect temptation to the very last breath.  So we must cooperate with the work of Christ our God and become workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Fasting, prayer, almsgiving, receiving the sacraments, etc. "get our hands dirty" (hat tip to Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Galilee Elias Chacour for this wonderful phrasing) for the salvation of our souls and those of others. It would not be right to say "Christ has done this, and therefore this will happen"...yes, it will happen, but if it will happen for you is a matter of what you do in response to what He has already done. God and man work together in synergy in this way, with God doing the heavy lifting and we lowly sinners carrying what we can to show that we are committed and serious about leaving the life of sin and working for the kingdom.
 

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walter1234 said:
Trinity God split up, Father kill Jesus( God kills God ) ,so we will not be killed by God.

God saved us from God.

All these protestant's teaching is really stupid, non-sense and laughable.
I'm sorry (not really), what you wrote is laughable to me.  The relentless attack on 'penal substitionary atonement' (is that the simplest all-encompassing term?) is the single greatest obstacle I face in any serious (sustainable) inquiry into Orthodox theology.  Simple reason that, it is so much in at least the Epistles of St. Paul (Romans, I believe chiefly) and a good example is that reference you gave to Romans 5:9.  The Orthodox, I would think, welcome in their characterization what St. Paul wrote last in 5:10, "...we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" - that part "we shall be saved by His life" - but they seem (or so the young, ex-Protestant and Protestant-adverse converts primarily) to deny that His death meant any kind of satisfaction to or allaying of the Father's wrath.  But when that is exactly what is stated (Protestants will insistently believe; for my part, a simple mind who can't bear the tortured nuanced and minimalizing interpretations that sideline what sound like very defenitive words and expressions) ... well, I must throw away/discard the whole Bible, chief among them the Epistles of St. Paul, if it cannot be believed that a true 'penal substitutionary atonement' was endured/suffered by the Savior Christ on the Cross.

It can readily be agreed that the substitution (and its "penal" aspect) was not the only - or even, I suppose, the necessarily primary - theme of the atonement.  And, whatever the case, the historical Resurrection is the more prominent, culminating result of all that occurred, and the happiest circumstance for Christians to recall in every time and place, and anticipate for the future.  But it is so jarring to hear the hyper-sounding denials of any substitution/punishment/wrath/atonement at all (pick out of the words, all of them, or a different word.)  If Christ took upon Himself our sins to the Cross, then isn't it enough to say that there was a substitution?  Was it just a poetic expression where Christ said that He "would give [His] life a ransom for many"?  At the very least, one has to be highly intelligent and capable of parsing out the Scriptures to ignore those that speak of darker aspects of the Crucifixion (those darker aspects including uncomfortable words like "ransom", "wrath", or satisfaction), to be or become a good Orthodox it seems.

(I'm sorry for the rant... not just to you Walter, but collectively to the anti-substitutioners, because I don't post often.)
 

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Aaron M said:
I'm sorry (not really), what you wrote is laughable to me.  The relentless attack on 'penal substitionary atonement' (is that the simplest all-encompassing term?) is the single greatest obstacle I face in any serious (sustainable) inquiry into Orthodox theology.  Simple reason that, it is so much in at least the Epistles of St. Paul (Romans, I believe chiefly) and a good example is that reference you gave to Romans 5:9.  The Orthodox, I would think, welcome in their characterization what St. Paul wrote last in 5:10, "...we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" - that part "we shall be saved by His life" - but they seem (or so the young, ex-Protestant and Protestant-adverse converts primarily) to deny that His death meant any kind of satisfaction to or allaying of the Father's wrath.  But when that is exactly what is stated (Protestants will insistently believe; for my part, a simple mind who can't bear the tortured nuanced and minimalizing interpretations that sideline what sound like very defenitive words and expressions) ... well, I must throw away/discard the whole Bible, chief among them the Epistles of St. Paul, if it cannot be believed that a true 'penal substitutionary atonement' was endured/suffered by the Savior Christ on the Cross.

It can readily be agreed that the substitution (and its "penal" aspect) was not the only - or even, I suppose, the necessarily primary - theme of the atonement.  And, whatever the case, the historical Resurrection is the more prominent, culminating result of all that occurred, and the happiest circumstance for Christians to recall in every time and place, and anticipate for the future.  But it is so jarring to hear the hyper-sounding denials of any substitution/punishment/wrath/atonement at all (pick out of the words, all of them, or a different word.)  If Christ took upon Himself our sins to the Cross, then isn't it enough to say that there was a substitution?  Was it just a poetic expression where Christ said that He "would give [His] life a ransom for many"?  At the very least, one has to be highly intelligent and capable of parsing out the Scriptures to ignore those that speak of darker aspects of the Crucifixion (those darker aspects including uncomfortable words like "ransom", "wrath", or satisfaction), to be or become a good Orthodox it seems.

(I'm sorry for the rant... not just to you Walter, but collectively to the anti-substitutioners, because I don't post often.)
A substitutionary sacrificial atonement is completely believed by Orthodox. Christ bore our sins, died as a substitute and sacrifice on the cross, gave his life as a ransom for us, and defeated death by his death. The Romans 5 reference seems to read, from my perspective, that we were saved from the wrath of God by no longer being his enemies, and not that Christ bore the punishment of the Father's wrath in our place (and so thereby are saved from his wrath). We don't deny God's justice and wrath, but we don't attempt to explain them in Reformed terms.
 

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It's called the resurrection. Jesus takes the full consequences of sin (the wages sin is death), and then is raised from the dead never to die again - undoing the consequences of sin. Jesus doesn't take the sin of the world onto Himself for the sake of giving the Father someone to punish, but Jesus takes the sin of the world onto Himself in order to destroy its power.
 

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Nephi said:
A substitutionary sacrificial atonement is completely believed by Orthodox. Christ bore our sins, died as a substitute and sacrifice on the cross, gave his life as a ransom for us, and defeated death by his death. The Romans 5 reference seems to read, from my perspective, that we were saved from the wrath of God by no longer being his enemies, and not that Christ bore the punishment of the Father's wrath in our place (and so thereby are saved from his wrath). We don't deny God's justice and wrath, but we don't attempt to explain them in Reformed terms.
Thank you.  I take it as a reminder that one should not take one angle of presentation (attacking the polemic tones of anti-Calvinism, if that is what it is) for the sum of a theology as complex as the Atonement (and for sure it's unknowable to me, not able to do as much research for the reason of a simplistic mind).  I would still say that there is some warrant - one must be careful, though, how they propose it - for believing that Christ "bore the punishment of the Father's wrath in our place" by tying in the familiar Isaiah 53 passage with that in Romans 5.  ("But he was wounded for our transgressions...the chastisement of our peace was upon him" and "...the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all", vs. 5-6)  This would be my take, although I wouldn't seek a combative argument over it with an Orthodox (or Emergent/ 'liberal' Evangelical, as the case might be.)  I wouldn't be able to hold much ground in such an argument, and it could ultimately tempt toward agnosticism/atheism as well as to renouncing any tentative liking to Orthodoxy (the 'simplistic mind' thing.)
 

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God didn't 'punish' Jesus because that would be scapegoating and there really is no justice in that. Rather, we believe that God sent Jesus to die on the Cross to defeat the bonds of death so that just as He was resurrected, even so we should also be resurrected one day.
 

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God didn't 'punish' Jesus because that would be scapegoating and there really is no justice in that. Rather, we believe that God sent Jesus to die on the Cross to defeat the bonds of death so that just as He was resurrected, even so we should also be resurrected one day.
What about the suffering? What's the Orthodox view on the reason for why The Messiah had to suffer before dying?
 

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for starters, if He hadn't, the Sermon on the Mount would be meaningless. He practiced what He preached and set an example for us to follow. I don't know if that's THE Orthodox view, though.
 

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With covid-19 restrictions on public worship here in Wales, some services or even just sermons are put on YouTube. Here is mine from last Sunday evening, on the very theme this thread is exploring. It's quite short (22 minutes), and if you are really interested in the discussion, you might find it worth watching.
 

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I respectfully disagree with the idea that God doesn't want us to understand the mechanics of our salvation. The Bible says that Jesus explained the Scriptures to His disciples after His resurrection. It seems unplausible that the disciples didn't exactly know the reasons for what happened when they began preaching to the nations. Furthermore, God in the OT says that His people perish for a lack of knowledge. Not a lack of faith. Of knowledge. In my opinion, not understanding why an omnipotent God chose to suffer in order to save us (despite being able not to suffer according to the definition of omnipotence) can hinder one's ability to appreciate His sacrifice.

Also, when the Israelites looked at the bronze snake, they didn't have to believe that they would be healed. Faith was not a requirement, unlike with Jesus' sacrifice.
 
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