This Week’s Ask Alice: Precisely how does Jesus’ death serve to reconcile mankind with God?



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*** Alice is off this week – Doug is “sitting in” ***

Skeptical Christian asks: Notwithstanding the awesome power of God or the holiness of his divine son, Jesus Christ, can someone please explain precisely by what mechanism the killing of Jesus served to reconcile fallen humanity with God? Thank you.

Doug Lawrence answers: Your question is one that is rarely explained, these days. But the answer is absolutely essential for a proper understanding of the basis of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition, and especially, Catholic Christianity.

On the most basic level, Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice was a divine “do-over”.

Adam, the first man, miserably failed. Having failed, all his natural offspring (without exception) would be consigned to his fate … eternal slavery to Satan, sin, and death … unless and until God personally intervened, to remedy the situation.

But many ask, “Why was it necessary for God to redeem man? Couldn’t God have simply decided to forgive and forget?”

There’s simply no way a just and loving God could go along with such an evil compromise. Besides, with Satan, the “Prince of this world” … totally opposed to God … still in charge on earth … forgiving and forgetting would accomplish absolutely nothing.

Satan would first have to go. 

While Satan’s dominion was all encompassing, it was not without limits. That limit was defined by sin.

Satan held the virtually unrestricted power of death over every sinner. But regarding one with no sin, Satan had absolutely no power at all. 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in his divine humanity, was sinless and totally immune to the powers of hell. Satan had no right to harm the sinless Christ, in any way.

So, the moment Satan and his minions .. the Pagan Romans and the corrupt Jewish Pharisees … put Jesus to death … Satan’s dominion was crushed, everything he gained from Adam’s fall was forfeit, and his (official) power over mankind was at an end.

Once Satan was out of the way, God’s plan for the reconciliation of mankind would proceed, without further delay.

The resurrected Christ … the New Adam … would be crowned the new head of all mankind … King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Satan would have to rely only on stealth and lies for any power he might still have.

Anyone willing to swear allegiance to Jesus Christ would be able to obtain true freedom, along with grace, peace, and forgiveness, from God … typically through baptism, and a lifetime of faithful participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

For much more on this rather complicated subject, click here.

  Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

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