The Awakening Atonement (and from a Wesleyan perspective)

July 17, 2015

Purpose and Intent of the Crucifixion of Jesus

1. Man is naturally sinful (i.e., morally speaking: an orc); and all good deeds arise from immediate impulses of God (à la prevenient, i.e., preceding, grace) and which are simply not resisted by the individual; and it will take a miracle of God to change this sinful nature, i.e., such that possession of the individual by a Holy Spirit takes place.

2. For God to be willing to convey such a miracle, the individual must at least

     A. understand what a holy nature entails, and then also

     B. request such a new nature.*

*A special condition is given in 5 below, for those who followed Jesus’ disciples later.

3.  The disciples of Jesus are needed for the spread of the Holy Spirit in order that the whole world might eventually become holy, which is God’s original plan. But since the disciples (not even to mention the rest of humanity) cannot understand a holy nature (2.A – for they grasp only lording it over each other) and thus also cannot comply with 2.B, and since God will not provide a new nature for anyone except per 2.A and 2.B, the earth will be doomed as a hell for humans to suffer in together like a troop of orcs.

4. Jesus gives his life in order to awaken and definitively inform the disciples with respect to 2.A*; and the ensuing resurrection assures them that seeking the new nature per 2.B will be successful and meaningful.

* And specifically: love of neighbor as self, and all people are one’s neighbors, i.e., Jews and gentiles alike.

5. Because of this unique action on the part of Jesus (an innocent man [as was Adam originally] giving his life willingly for the benefit of others [represented by Barabbas] and showing them the way to a new nature) God has now decreed that the required request for this new and holy nature (2.B) must be expressed in the context of an acknowledgement of Jesus as Savior and Lord by the individual, and will be answered by God’s miracle of forgiveness (justification) and eventual sanctification (holiness before death).

Comment from a Kantian perspective.

According to Kant the justice referred to in the scriptures as being satisfied by the death of Jesus has to do here with the payment of the sins of the “old man” (the pre-conversion person) by the willingness of the “new man” (the convert) to take on new ills (accruing now to the convert) for the sake of goodness, e.g., no longer willing to lie to defend themselves against a sinful society, and without complaint and to undertake all good acts without claiming any credit. Jesus symbolizes this in his suffering and death in the place of the criminal named Barabbas (who represents every sinful person) and in this way shows all people the way to redemption and a new life, i.e., by his death Jesus shows each person what they must do in order to satisfy justice and start the “new life.” [See Kant’s Religion Within The Bounds Of Sheer Reason, Part II., First Section, C, Par. 5.]

Comment from a Wesleyan perspective.

From a Wesleyan perspective, in contrast, the ills that follow the conversion to the new life are undertaken in the sense of “bearing the cross” and do not pay for any previous sin or disposition to sin but are the voluntary undertakings arising from the “New Birth”. See also Wesleyan Theology.

Author contact: pmr#$, replacing #$ with @

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