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“The Passion of Christ”: Why Did Jesus Suffer?

by John W. Loftus
email: apacaptainjohn@juno.com


It was actually Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ" which actually caused me to come out of the closet, so to speak, and write about my doubt.

The major atonement theory among Christians is that Jesus died in my place and bore the punishment I deserve so that I may be forgiven and go to heaven rather than hell. This theory dominates in the churches.

If Jesus suffered in my place so that I can go to heaven rather than hell, then apart from Jesus’ suffering I should be punished for my sins by being sent to hell when I die. But what has any one of us ever done to deserve the kind of punishment Jesus suffered, much less to deserve hell itself? All through my entire life I have never met, nor even heard of one person, who deserved such a punishment. Never. Never. Never. To say that my sins are an infinite wrong because they are committed against an infinite God, and thus demand an infinite punishment, seems mistaken for several reasons.

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