Originally posted by 667joe
Couldn't Jesus forgive your sins without being crucified? In other words, was the crucifixion truly necessary?
Consider this narrative.
Charismatic maverick rabbi attracts followers with his modernizer-style critique of Judaism.
He causes quite a stir and teaches actually pretty straightforward things that appeal to our humanity and therefore resonate (and still do to this day).
He is prosecuted for sedition/blasphemy at the behest of Jews whose noses he has put out of joint
The Romans execute him. This probably avoids some degree of civil unrest in that troublesome province.
He is dead and buried.
His followers are distraught with the brutal finality of it all.
All kinds of hysterical and bitterly disappointed reactions and theories start circulating.
In the decades after his death a cult of personality rises around the memory of him and around competing theories about who he was.
A prominent theory is that he was God incarnate, although not all early 'Christianities' believed this to be so.
Stories about how he resurrected himself from the dead gather momentum.
Decades later, someone writes about the empty tomb and someone writes about there being hundreds of eyewitnesses that saw him come back from the dead.
These stories are very popular, spellbinding even - at least to some.
This 'resurrection' story burnishes the "he was God incarnate" theory.
But, hang on. If he was God, why did he allow himself to be executed?
Why would "God" just die like that, even if he did rise from the dead?
What was that all about?
So what was needed: a convoluted concept that did not need to actually be coherent, in fact, the more obtuse the better maybe ~ people can either revel in its breathtaking, doesn't-bear-scrutiny, ideological word salad and the holier-than-thou kudos subscribing to it afforded them in the yes of fellow believers...
...or be threatened with stupendously cruel and nonsensically demented treatment after they die for their 'failure' to believe it.
And what do you know? A new book called 'Revelation' appears, based on somebody or other's dream, no less... and it dishes up the threat of stupendously cruel and nonsensically demented treatment after non-believers die in exquisitely opaque and sacred sounding prose.
Hence: convoluted theology in place: Jesus had to die like that in order to forgive humanity's "sins".
"What, are you crazy? How on earth could Jesus have forgiven your sins without being crucified? What's the matter with you? You must be part of Satan's rebellion!"
In the centuries of early Christianity, this ideology gained traction, and dissenting sects and groups were sidelined, wiped out, or just lost the "argument" in the face of corporate Christianity's corporate juggernaut.