If Jesus
death was a
sacrifice, it
can only atone
for sins
before his
death. High
priests don’t
atone for
future sins.

I often ask fellow Christians if our
sins are forgiven or if they are paid
for. Did Jesus die for our sins or do
we need to repent? Most say it is
both, but it cannot be. If our sins are
forgiven, nobody needs to pay for
them. But if our sins are paid for,
then we 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. Indeed, if Jesus
died for our sins then God never
forgave anyone.
Jesus teaches about repentance and
the forgiveness of sins. But Paul
talks about blood payment for sins.
Whose report should we believe?
Most Christians disagree with Jesus.
Jesus says God does not desire
sacrifices. (Matthew 9:13). But Paul
says Jesus sacrificed himself to God
for us. (Ephesians 5:2). Whose
report should we believe? Most
Christians disagree with Jesus.
Nevertheless, we say Jesus is “the
author and finisher of our faith.”
(Hebrews 12:2).

Good Shepherd

Jesus says: “I am the good
shepherd. The good shepherd gives
his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11).
This statement is often mistaken as
indicating that Jesus will die as a
sacrifice for sins. However, since the
ways of God are not our ways (Isaiah
55:8); the good shepherd must not
be confused with the typical
shepherd. Indeed, the life of the good
shepherd is a deliberate anti-type of
the Mosaic sin-sacrifice.
In the typical sacrifice, the life of the
sheep is sacrificed for the shepherd.
But Jesus contradicts this by saying
he is the shepherd who gives his life
for the sheep. Obviously, this cannot
be about dying for the sheep for the
simple reason that a dead shepherd
is of no use to his sheep. On the
contrary, Jesus is talking about living
for the sheep. The good shepherd
gives his life for the sheep by
devoting his eternal life to taking
care of them. Without a doubt, it is
far more difficult to live for the sheep
than to die for them. Indeed, when
you give your life for someone, you
don’t have to die.
Jesus’ crucifixion was a one-time
event, but his priesthood as our
shepherd is everlasting. Jesus did
not say “the good shepherd will give
his life for the sheep.” Instead, he
talks in the present continuous
because he is “the same yesterday
and today and forever.” (Hebrews
13:8). “The good shepherd gives his
life for the sheep.” This shows Jesus
is not talking about Calvary. Jesus
remains our shepherd today and he
is still giving his life for us. The
enemy decided to kill the shepherd
so that the sheep would scatter.
(Zechariah 13:7). However, God
countered this by raising him from
the dead, showing that this shepherd
cannot be sacrificed or killed.

Surrendered life

Jesus teaches that physical life is
inconsequential. He says: “Do not be
afraid of those who kill the body but
cannot kill the soul.” (Matthew
10:28). Therefore, the life he lays
down cannot be the inconsequential
life. It must surely be the spiritual
life. Hear him: “My Father loves me
because I lay down my life that I may
take it again. No one takes it from
me, but I lay it down of myself. I
have power to lay it down, and I have
power to take it again.” (John
This means the life Jesus laid down
is not his physical life, as many
Christians presume in the sacrificial
atonement fallacy. The physical life
was taken from Jesus against his
will. When he was to be crucified by
men, he said to God: “Not my will,
but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).
However, no one took his divine
(eternal) life from him. He voluntarily
relinquished this in order to take up a
mortal life on earth.
This shows the cross of Jesus was
fundamentally his incarnation. His
cross was in laying down his life in
heaven in order to come to earth as a
man to show us the way of salvation.
After his earthly death and
resurrection, he took up again his
heavenly life.

Ransom not sacrifice

Before Jesus went to the cross, he
says to his disciples: “Love each
other as I have loved you.” He then
describes his love for them as laying
down his life: “Greater love has no
one than this, that he lay down his
life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)
. This love was expressed in the
past; before his crucifixion.
Therefore, Jesus’ definition of laying
down his life has nothing to do with
dying on the cross. It is about loving
others and living a life of service for
The laying down of life that Jesus
talks about cannot be about Calvary
because he asks his disciples to lay
down their lives also. Surely, it
cannot be said that he was requiring
them to die also as sacrifices for
sins, especially since misguided
Christian doctrine says Jesus laid
down his life once for all. (Hebrews
Furthermore, Jesus says to his
disciples: “Whoever wants to become
great among you must be your
servant, and whoever wants to be
first must be your slave- just as the
Son of Man did not come to be
served, but to serve, and to give his
life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew
This injunction is further proof that
the doctrine of Jesus has nothing to
do with sacrifices for sins. Jesus
says he gives his life as a ransom.
However, a ransom is fundamentally
different from a sacrifice. A ransom
is not paid as atonement for sins but
for the release of captives. It is not
given to God but to kidnappers.
Kidnappers are evil, but God is
righteous. Ransoms are paid by the
innocent, but sacrifices are given by
the guilty.
If Jesus’ death was a sacrifice, it can
only atone for sins committed before
his death. High priests don’t atone
for future sins. However, if Jesus’ life
is seen correctly as a ransom, its
lessons remain relevant even to
those of us born after his death.

Fear of death

Satan holds men captive through our
love of life. We sin as we try to save
our lives. Therefore, Jesus warns:
“Whoever wants to save his life will
lose it, but whoever loses his life for
me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25).
Jesus ransomed captives with his
life by allowing himself to be killed;
only to rise from the dead. Thereby,
he exposed the counterfeit of death
by demonstrating that our fear of
death is baseless.
Hebrews says: “Since the children
have flesh and blood, he too shared
in their humanity so that by his death
he might destroy him who holds the
power of death- that is, the devil-
and free those who all their lives
were held in slavery by their fear of
death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
The Good Shepherd lays down his
life and takes it up again. Therefore,
we can now confidently lay down our
lives, without fear of losing our lives.
Thanks to Jesus: “Our soul has
escaped as a bird from the snare of
the fowlers; the snare is broken, and
we have escaped.” (Psalms 124:7).


One thought on “JESUS CAN NEVER BE A SACRIFICE FOR SINS (1) By Femi Aribisala

  1. Pingback: JESUS CAN NEVER BE ASACRIFICE FOR SINS (1) By Femi Aribisala | Nazeer Mukhtar Danjagale's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s