I started off writing about the falsehood of the doctrine of vicarious atonement that is so central to christian theology. I don’t want to launch a polemic, so I deleted what I first wrote. I will, therefore, only write to state what judaism has to say on the subject, and since Jesus was a jew, I will leave it up to the christian reader to decide, research, and apply.
The truth of the matter is that not only is vicarious atonement impossible, but it is also much less improving to the world than how G-d says that we are to make up for our fumbles:
STOP doing bad——-START doing good. That is all that is asked of us to start back from scratch again!
This real instruction, from Hashem instead of Paul of Tarsus who invented christianity, is so simple and logical that it really should be just common sense, and is the essence of mercy and love–two qualities that emanate from G-d but are attributed in christianity to the vicarious atonement. It is absolutely unnecessary though to use the middleman of such atonement. Ezekiel 18:20 says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die; the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father with him, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son with him; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” This passage is implicitly stating that the righteous cannot die for the sins of the wicked.
As correction to this doctrine in christianity which leads to believe otherwise, the proper course correction is laid out in the verse that follows, “But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
Now, this could be taken to mean that in order to live, one would have to keep all the 613 commandments, at all times, without faltering. This teaching, which is a common justification for the necessity of the vicarious atonement, would have to disregard a separate passage in the same book which states, “Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.” Ez 18:17. We are told time and time again in this chapter of the book of Ezekiel, that a person’s soul is redeemed by the simple action of recognizing his fault and failure, and taking the necessary action to correct it. This is what repentance is.
“Repent!” This is cried time and again by John the Baptist, and preached by Jesus himself in the gospels of the christian scriptures. It is almost as if they are presaging the false doctrines and misinformation that would later be taught by Paul and serve as the basis for modern christianity, which being so heavily based in the teachings of Paul instead of Jesus, ought to be properly called “Paulianity” instead.
“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD; and not rather that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ez 18:23 Instead we are given the cure directly before this passage, “None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; for his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.” Ez 18:22. There is absolutely no reason for vicarious atonement, even if it were possible. In fact, I can see no reason why it would even be desirable, as it does nothing at all to make the world a better place, but instead leaves one to feel let free from all of his missteps because somebody else took the punishment for him.
And this leads me to “crime and punishment.” A friend wrote earlier on Facebook about how “jesus makes us free, we don’t have to punish anybody because of his sacrifice.” There is absolutely no reason that anyone would “punish” anyone else for their sins in the first place! When I asked what was meant, the reply was that, “there are consequences for actions,” and some other stuff after. Consequences are not the same as punishment. Consequences are the result of our actions. Punishment is the attempt to exact justice in some way, by diminishing the faulty party. Whereas “consequences” for a person’s iniquities are a natural response that occurs, “punishment” for a person’s iniquities can be handed out only by the one true Judge, the Endless One of Blessing. Given this understanding of the difference in these terms, people have never been responsible for punishing others for their iniquities, and so it is not something that any vicarious atonement could ever make up for anyway!
This is all that I have to write on the subject right now. I am not sure if anyone will ever even read it, and I kind of wrote it more for my own therapy than anyone else, so that I didn’t blow up my friend’s Facebook page with questions and conversation.
Keep in mind that the books of the bible are complete, and that excerpting one or two passages does not lend a complete understanding to the contents. I suggest that you read this chapter (20) of Ezekiel yourself, and the rest of the book in order, for that matter. And relax in the understanding that it is not possible for anyone to die for the sake of anyone else, but all that is really necessary is to stop doing bad, and do good instead. It really is that simple.