Caleb Lines - Jesus dying for Empire Instead of Sins

atonement crucifixion gospel progressive christianity May 15, 2023
Caleb shared this meme again, so I am going to address it again, but this time, I will be much more thorough.
Let's see what Jesus has to say about the Romans/Empire/etc:
  • Matthew 5:41 (ESV) - "And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles."
  • Matthew 22:18–21 (ESV) - "But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? "Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. "And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” "They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”"
Now let's see what Jesus has to say about atonement:
  • Matthew 20:28 (ESV) - "even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”"
  • John 6:53–58 (ESV) - "So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. "This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”"
Let's see what the early Christians said about Jesus and the atonement and crucifixion:
  • John 1:29 (ESV) - "The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
  • Revelation 5:9–10 (ESV) - "And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, "and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”"
  • 1 John 2:1–2 (ESV) - "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
  • 1 John 4:10 (ESV) - "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
  • 1 Peter 3:18–22 (ESV) - "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, "in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, "because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. "Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, "who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him."
  • Romans 5:6–10 (ESV) - "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. "Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."
  • Romans 14:9 (ESV) - "For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living."
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3–8 (ESV) - "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, "that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, "and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. "Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. "Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. "Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."
  • 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) - "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."
Also, let's see what the Romans said about Jesus:
  • Matthew 27:15–26 (ESV) - "Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. "And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. "So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” "For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. "Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” "Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. "The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” "Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” "And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” "So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” "And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” "Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified."
To be clear, if you know of ANY verses that actually testify to Jesus being "crucified for standing up to empire" and NOT "to atone for the sins of humanity", please share them! If I'm wrong, I want to change what I'm saying so that I don't continue to present misinformation.
As it stands, however, we have specific passages where Jesus specifically opposes standing up to empire, and many more passages where Jesus, and the first Christians who wrote what we know of His teachings, say that Jesus definitely died for the sins of the world.