If Jesus died for our sins then God never forgave anyone. 

Jesus is my Saviour.  He even saved me physically from armed robbers and healed me miraculously from bullet wounds.  But I know from Jesus himself that he is not responsible for atoning for my sins.  That responsibility is mine and mine alone.

I often like to ask fellow Christians: Are your sins forgiven or are they paid for?  Did Jesus die for your sins or did you repent?  Some Christians say it is both, but it cannot be.  If your sins are forgiven, nobody needs to pay for them.  If your sins are paid for, then you don’t need to be forgiven.  If I owe a man one thousand naira and Jesus pays my debt, then I was not forgiven the debt.  If Jesus died for our sins then God never forgave anyone. 

That is not true.  Jesus teaches about repentance and the forgiveness of sins; but Paul talks about blood payment for sins.  Whose report are you going to believe?

Not a Passover lamb 

Paul says “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).  However, the Passover lamb is not a sacrifice for sins.  It was killed and eaten as an act of defiance because the lamb was sacred in Egypt (Exodus 8:26).  Paul says Jesus told his disciples at the last Passover feast: “Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you” (1 Corinthians 11:24).  But Paul was not even there.  In actual fact, Jesus’ bones were not broken (John 19:36).      

Paul also claims Jesus was “made sin” for our redemption: “For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  But the sin-offering is not made sin: it is made holy (Leviticus 6:24-27).  For Jesus to be a sin-offering, he must be holy to God.  But if, according to Paul, he was made sin and even cursed, then he could not have been an acceptable sacrifice. 

Moreover, the law requires that the atoning sacrifice be without physical defects or blemishes (Leviticu 4:3/Leviticus 22:22).  But Jesus was beaten, whipped, and dragged on the ground before being crucified.  Thereby, his body was bruised, cut and blemished, making him an unacceptable sacrifice.


No vicarious atonement

In any case, God does not accept vicarious atonement.  A person cannot atone for the sins of someone else; he can only atone for his own sins.  Thus, God rejected Moses’ offer to be punished for the sins of the children of Israel.  He said to him: “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot him out of my book (Exodus 32:31-33). 

This principle is stated again and again in the bible: “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16).  Therefore, Jesus cannot be put to death for the sins of others.

A moral debt owed by one person cannot be redeemed by someone else.  A moral debt involves guilt, but guilt cannot be transferred.  If a man offends me, another man cannot repent for him.  The person who displays the remorse must be the same person who owes it.  Therefore, there is no moral value to punishment inflicted, not on the person who committed the offence, but on Jesus who has nothing to do with the crime. 

This shows that Jesus blood cannot be atonement for sins.  It is there in black and white in the bible:  “Atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it” (Numbers 35:33). 

Sacrifices can only atone for sins committed prior to the offering of the sacrifice. No sacrifice could atone for sins committed after the sacrifice was offered.  So even if it were true that Jesus atoned for the sins of mankind, he could only have atoned for sins committed before his crucifixion and not for any sins committed afterwards by people born after his death.


Forbidden human sacrifice

Finally, Jesus cannot be a sacrifice for sins because the law forbids human sacrifice and God strictly prohibits it: “They have built high altars to Baal, and there they burn their sons in sacrifice– a thing I never commanded them nor even thought of” (Jeremiah 19:5).  Even before the Law of Moses was given, God prevented Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac, showing he does not require human sacrifices. 

Indeed, God does not require any kind of sacrifice.  He says so again and again: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13).

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