I think your point is that Jesus sacrificed nothing since He knew the result of His sacrifice; Jesus suffered and was crucified, but He knew He would rise again, thus there was no real sacrifice.
Originally Posted by maybrick
This clarifies your view very well. You propose that if Jesus didn't remain dead then there was no sacrifice and He didn't pay for anything. This is exactly opposite of what Christianity holds and it is good for you to want to undertand this seeming contradiction in your mind.
Originally Posted by maybrick
Fair enough. But realize first that Christianity is about death to life, and not life to death.
Originally Posted by maybrick
To examine the context of Jesus' sacrifice correctly, consider the following definition (one of many) for sacrifice: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
I want to look at that kind of sacrifice in more human terms for a moment. Consider a dad that works the second job to put his kids through college. To do this he puts his golf clubs in the attick for a while. After a few years and seeing all his kids graduate college, he takes his golf clubs out of the attick and enjoys playing golf with his kids on the golf course. Now according to the definition that you want to employ for sacrifice, this dad sacrificed nothing. There are probably a lot of kids that agree with you.
However, the choice existed for the dad to do it or not. He chose to do it because he believed that his leisure time was less important than his kid's education. Also, the dad knew that his sacrifice would work. The sacrifice had a purpose or a goal to achieve.
With that in mind, we can look at a few scriptures that explain how Jesus' death on our behalf is so fundamental to the Christian religion. The very first thing to understand is that Jesus' mission had a purpose, a goal to be achieved. The second thing to understand is that Jesus did this on our behalf, to do something for us that we could not otherwise have participated in.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
To understand the difference between Christianity and your concept of Jesus remaining dead, we have to present the rest of the mission...
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
So the plan wasn't for Jesus to just die, the plan was for Jesus to be victorious over death on man's behalf. We are beholden to death. We aren't getting around that one. But Jesus, by becoming a man, could then likewise die, but even more, could live again and thus declare victory over death for us. It was the mission. Here is Jesus telling His disciples about His mission:
Mark 10:32 ... And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:
34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
So Jesus understood His mission and that it included suffering, death, and to rise again the third day. Jesus refers to Himself as a servant, as one ministering, giving His life for mankind so that mankind might be ransomed from death unto life.
Regarding Jesus' sacrifice to accomplish the mission, consider the following:
Hebrews 12:1 ...let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
The endurance of Jesus in His mission is a great contradiction to consider when we understand that He did not have to face death or suffer at the hands of men with darkened hearts.
Here is another passage regarding Jesus' sacrifice:
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
If Jesus had remained dead then His mission would have been a failure, He would have sacrificed nothing because nothing would have been accomplished on our behalf. By "paying" death, Jesus also was victorious over death, being resurrected to life the third day. In doing this as a man, Jesus has "paid death", or satisfied the debt of death, for mankind. Now whether we will regard Jesus' sacrifice and whether we will apply His payment on our behalf is a matter of faith.
In any event, I hope this helps you to understand Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf in a different light.
I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.