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Some believe that God never authorised human sacrifices, so God did not sacrifice Jesus for the atonement of mankind. But what does the Bible say? It is true that God condemned the actions of some peoples who offered and sacrificed their children and other humans to their false gods. He even forbade the sacrifice of humans (Deuteronomy 12:31; Jeremiah 32:35). Did such a ban mean that Jesus should not have been sacrificed? Consider that God commanded ‘do not kill’ but on the other hand sought a ‘life for life’ which included the death penalty (murder). So some things need to be analysed in order to properly look at God and His commandments. God is against the sacrifice of men and children, because in such rituals they are sacrificed to the false gods, and against their will. But on the other hand, everything that a person does for God and his neighbour involves a certain kind of sacrifice that he does voluntarily. Man is willing to give his life for others in crucial situations, so that God could use that kind of self-sacrificing love as the highest value of life that can be the benchmark by which we can appreciate and accept what Jesus has done for us. That is why God’s prohibition of human sacrifices does not call into question Jesus’ voluntary sacrifice, behind which was the plan of salvation.

Jesus became spiritually perfect insofar as God made his life worthy because of his obedience to the law of life, so he could cover for:

  1. inherited state of punishment and
  2. the sin of all humans

because it says:

“For the law of that spirit that gives life in union with Christ Jesus freed you from

  1. the law of sin and
  2. the law of death” (Romans 8:2)

This does not mean that none of the other people (sons of God) could attain that spiritual perfection that God could use for ransom, but

  • none of them made a covenant with God for that purpose.

Many faithful God’s servants died for God by martyrdom, but God did not use their death to cover the sins of other people and free them from the bondage of death because

  • they did not receive ‘life in themselves’ but died in Adam.

There were such people (sons of God) who would willingly and completely submit to God and give their lives for others both before and after Jesus. One of these said:

“… full of love for you, we were ready to give you … our life, because we loved you” (1 Thessalonians 2:8)

This was what God expected of Jesus, but unlike him, none of the self-sacrificing people

  • were predetermined and authorised to lay down his life for others.

Only with the chosen man did God intend to make a new covenant and through him to invite all men to that covenant. That is why only Jesus could say about his own life:

“I have authority ( from God) to lay it down …” (John 10:17,18)

Jesus could have been perfectly blameless, but he could not lay down his life for others of his own volition. He had to be predetermined and chosen among all humans in order to prove, as their representative, that any man could be impeccably obedient to God. Therefore, one of such sons of God should be empowered by God to perform the act of reconciling God to man, so that God’s choice is also valid. :

“So it does not depend on one who has desire or on one who strives, but on God …” (Romans 9:16).

The plan of salvation depended on God. He set the prerequisites that were to be fulfilled by one man. God made His demands before him, as He set them before Adam. It would make no sense to require such from divine being who would only play the role of an obedient man, because then this “course” would include both a heavenly preexistence and an earthly temptation under the law of life and death. Such a ‘course’ could be presented only to the heavenly angels who have sinned and who were to take the course of salvation, following the example of that being, and to keep that supposed course (angel – man – angel). But this is not what the Bible says.

Considering the facts by which Adam and Jesus could be likened to each other in everything, then Jesus did not need to be an immortal heavenly being to fit the image of Adam, because only as a mortal man, empowered by God, could he fit that image the first man he shared the same status with because they were both

  • predetermined
  • created by God
  • entered into a covenant with God
  • got eternal life in themselves
  • received the status of the firstborn Son of God
  • took all the people on themselves
  • set for the fathers of the world

Only under these conditions would the righteousness and obedience of Jesus be enabled redeem other people and cover up the sin that was the consequence of their inability to access the eternal life. In order for his righteousness to be used to bring people back to the law of life, God had to authorise this man and to assign him a place that belonged to Adam. To put him in that position, he had to do something else to make him perfect for the role.