Is God Bloodthirsty?


#1

[size=150]Is God Bloodthirsty? [/size]
by Hermano
[size=120]
Regarding blood sacrifice, has God ever needed blood in order to be appeased? I would argue, no, God has never needed blood to satisfy or placate Him. Yet I certainly do believe that the death of Jesus, and the shedding of his blood, were absolutely necessary to fully save us.

The Scriptures say, “For the life of a creature is in the blood.” Lev. 17:11. So we can confidently conclude the life of Jesus Christ is in his blood. In fact, Jesus says,

.” John 6:54-55.
Jesus is described as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev. 13:8. Although we all agree the sacrifice of Jesus was necessary to save us, I would further argue that his was the one and ONLY sacrifice that was ever necessary to save us. And that it was not made to appease the Father, but rather because our gift of divine life is in his blood. We needed that precious blood made available to us; so, God and His Son made it available.

Our redemption is in stages. Christ’s Death, and Christ’s Blood are two sides of the same coin. I would suggest some distinctions between these two aspects of redemption:

-Christ’s DEATH ransomed us, and freed us from our captivity to** death**, under the author of death…that great legalist…SATAN. Matt. 20:28, Hebrews 2:14. Christ’s death was the price paid to redeem us from the devil. Christ had to die to break the power of death, and to regain the title deed to the earth. (For more on the title deed, see “Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent.") As Jeremy Myers has pointed out, *“In His death, Jesus put to death the religious requirement of death.” *—Satan being the religionist.

-However, Christ’s BLOOD gives us life. The blood continues the redemption process in order to heal our souls and bodies from the effects of sin. It was not shed to satisfy either our heavenly Father, or Satan, either (bloodthirsty devil though he is). Christ’s Blood was shed exclusively to meet our need for the divine LIFE contained in it. Lev. 17:11, John 6:54.
Titus 2:14 says,* “Who gave Himself for us, that He might [1] redeem* us from every lawless deed and [2] purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” I would argue that it is the legalist Satan who penalizes people for their “lawless deeds,” not God. * In life,* by sickness, guilt, and other bad things; in death, by imprisoning them in hell. The Death of Christ sets people free from captivity to Satan (at least, those who take and use their “Get Out of Jail Free” card by receiving Christ and being born again); the Blood of Christ then purifies their guilty consciences, heals their bodies and souls, and re-harmonizes them to their true identity as the children of God.

There are many Bible verses about the efficacy of the redeeming Blood of Christ, which are traditionally interpreted to mean that an angry, offended, legalistic God had finally been satisfied. So, He won’t destroy people smart enough to hide from Him under that Blood. But thankfully, more often than not, there are good, alternative interpretations for those hard verses—the verses which seem to paint God in an “un-Daddy-like” color.

For example, Hebrews 9:22 says,* “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” * However, the Greek word translated there as “forgiveness,” aphesis (ä’-fë-sēs), is alternatively defined as “release from bondage or imprisonment.” This preferred definition is in keeping with our argument that the sacrifice of Christ was not to appease an angry, offended God, but in order for a loving heavenly Daddy 1) to release us from captivity through His Son’s death, and 2) to provide us a life-giving blood transfusion!

The standard argument supporting the idea that our God has always needed blood sacrifice to appease His wrath, is basically: God is holy and just; is deeply offended by sin; for His divine justice to be satisfied requires blood payment for sin; all in order to ‘balance His books.’

Support for this argument usually begins with Genesis, where we are reminded that God Himself sacrificed innocent animal(s) in order to clothe Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden. However, some scholars argue that Adam and Eve were originally clothed in divine light, and that after they sinned, they needed to be clothed in human skin, since they were losing their glorious light covering.

Psalm 104:2 says, “The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment.” (Note: the Hebrew word for “light” in this verse is pronounced ‘owr, like “this OR that.”) And Genesis 1:26 tells us, *“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness….” *

So, made in the image of God, Adam and Eve were likewise originally clothed in light, or so the argument goes.

Rabbinical scholars note that the Hebrew word for “light” is a homonym for the Hebrew word for “skin.” In Genesis 3:21, we read that God made for Adam and Eve garments of skin to replace the fig leaves with which they had wrapped themselves. The Hebrew word for “skin” in this verse is likewise pronounced ‘owr.

אוֹר ‘owr Strong’s H216 – light
עור ‘owr Strong’s H5785 – skin

So possibly Adam and Eve went from being clothed in ‘owr (light) to being clothed in ‘owr (skin/human skin). Because of sin, they lost a nature of light and gained a nature of flesh. (If so, then ‘owr would seem to be a play on words.)

The next supporting example for the argument of an offended God needing to be appeased by blood is the case of righteous (and, like everyone at that point, vegetarian) Abel. He brought to God *“the female firstlings of his flock, even from their fat ones.” *[Gen. 4:4, Young’s Literal Translation.] But the biblical account doesn’t actually state the animals were killed.

(It should be noted that angry Cain was promised prophetically, “If thou dost not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching…” [Gen. 4:7, YLT] —possibly pointing to that humble future lamb, Christ, who, from the foundation of the world, gave his life for everyone, including Cain. He did this both 1) to free us from our captivity to death—through his death, and 2) to provide us the gift of divine life—through his blood.)

The first indisputable blood sacrifice to God was by Noah, after The Flood (Gen. 8:20). But perhaps by then, blood sacrifices to appease the gods were already customary throughout Noah’s fallen, pagan world?

The Bible shows a progressively increasing revelation of the goodness of God. So, then, what about that whole sacrificial system instituted by Moses? Professor C.S. Cowles points out that,

what we see is…reflective of the human mediators’ growing understanding of his [God’s] character, will, and gracious saving purposes in Scripture. Isaiah, for instance, saw into the mind and heart of God more clearly than Moses when he virtually dismisses the whole sacrificial system that Moses believed to have been instituted by God, instructions that are given in great detail in Exodus and Leviticus. In contradistinction to Israel’s entire temple-cult and priestly system, Isaiah asserts that God does not require “burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals,” and that he took “no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.” What the prophet sees anticipates the dramatically clearer revelation of God fleshed out in Jesus: namely, that God is not impressed by outward ritual but rather inward holiness of heart and life (see Isa. 1:11-18)….
I might add that the whole Mosaic system seems to be an unfortunate interruption in the unilateral, everlasting, Abrahamic covenant of grace for Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 17:19). And we should remember that being in Christ means we are numbered among the descendants of Abraham! Romans 4, Galatians 3, Hebrews 7.

[Regarding “Unilateral”–one-sided, it was so because it was only God making a promise; and the promise was between God and himself (Christ). It was [i]not[/size] a bilateral pact, between God and us, with both sides making promises. Everything we need is found in the faithful Christ, alone.

We recall the self-maledictory oath of God in Genesis 15:5-21 (and examined in Hebrews 6:13-20). This was a type of oath, back in that day and culture, which Abraham could understand. And the fact that Abraham was asleep and didn’t walk between the cuttings himself indicated that the covenant held no obligation for Abraham.

We can see the promise from the Father to Christ in these words: *“The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet,” *e.g., Matt. 22:44. Again, in John 3:16, on the part of the Father, we read “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son….” On the part of the Son, there had to be an agreement that he would come into the world and live as a man under the Mosaic law, and die to free us from captivity, and to give us the divine life found in his blood. We see his full agreement when Jesus said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law….“Here I am, I have come to do your will.” Heb. 10:8-9.]
Jesus rescued us from that terrible Mosaic “hiccup.” Joseph Prince highlights that horrendous exchange of covenants by the Jews in Destined To Reign:

Regarding the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, The Christus Victor Theory of the Atonement holds that it was actually SATAN’S wrath being poured out on Christ at the cross, not God’s. Because, after all, “God was IN Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Cor. 5:19. This position is in stark contrast to the Penal Substitution Theory of what happened on the cross.

Author, theologian, and criminal defense attorney Richard K. Murray makes clear that Jesus’ shed blood is not about punishment FOR sin. It’s about deliverance FROM sin. He writes:

*"…The beloved. In whom we have redemption [Strongs: a releasing effected by payment of ransom] through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." *Eph. 1:6b-7.
Christ’s sacrifice was necessary, both to ransom us, by his own death—to destroy Satan’s legalistic captivity of DEATH, and also to provide us his own BLOOD—which contains his divine LIFE. But neither Christ’s death nor his blood were in any way to appease an angry Creator.

Blessings.

(Note: I recently updated the “For Further Consider” section of Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent? And I was going to add this “Is God Bloodthirsty?” as a new comment there, but it just got too long to be a comment anymore :slight_smile:)


Facts to be Considered by All Full Preterists
Facts to be Considered by All Full Preterists
#2

Yes, Paul, Peter, and the writer of Hebrews also make clear that the purpose of Jesus’ death was to deliver us FROM sin:

*I Peter 2:24 He himself endured our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

II Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Heb 9:26 …he has appeared once for all at the end of the age for the abolition of sin by the sacrifice of himself.*


#3

but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory 1 Cor 2:7,8


#4

Because, after all, “God was IN Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Cor. 5:19. This position is in stark contrast to the Penal Substitution Theory of what happened on the cross.

I believe forgiveness was in his death and reconciliation was in his resurrection.


#5

Steve, WHY do you believe forgiveness was in his death? Was his death necessary in order for him to forgive? If so, how was he able to forgive so many people prior to his death while he still walked this earth?


#6

The benefits of forgiveness were effected through His death, through which His life(the life is in the blood) was released into creation.

9 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross;

God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, Christ crucified is the serpent on the stick (everyone who looks upon it will be healed of the serpents bite)

If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me

All men are being drawn by the image of God’s heart displayed in Christ crucified, the image imprinted upon the heart of every created being, No being has peace until they return to it.(In returning and rest is your salvation). The light that lights every person who comes into the world. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Sometimes creating separation between words that are merely various elements of the unified work completed on the cross is postulating intellectual schismata out of spiritual harmony. What is the most important color in the rainbow? it is all one until refracted. The prism makes various elements of the one light beautifully rendered to view, but there is no opposition or extrication of one from the other, and the exact line of division between them cannot be found because it does not exist.


#7

What does this mean? That only the benefits of forgiveness were so effected, and not forgiveness itself?


#8

For all you Richard Murray fans he has an active Facebook page!


#9

I didnt say “only”, You read it but it wasnt there LOL… When you eat an apple you get the benefit of the apple. Forgiveness is made up of elements, and is itself an element of the love of God. The word specifically identifies a particular aspect of a broader thing, like green is an aspect of light, but it is also blend of blue and yellow and they are all elements of light. Sometimes we debate the divisions between concepts that are not really divided in essence, almost as if we are trying to find the lines between yellow, green and blue.

Forgiveness is not an abstract ideal, it is a substantial reality and many things flow out of it, like reconciliation, restoration, healing etc. Jesus felt “virtue” go out of Him when the woman with the flow touched Him. A dead man fell on Elisha’s bones and jumped up out of the grave alive. Paul prayed over patches of His cloak and people who were touched by them were healed. Why? I think the substance of the glory of God went into them and stayed there.

Jesus came into the earth “full of grace and truth”. His life was the light of men. When it was poured out upon the earth, it began, like a new matrix forming in the chaos of the world, to yield the benefit of transformation- a benefit of forgiveness. Like a measure of yeast leavening three bushels of dough till the whole is leavened.

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Col 1

Paul spoke about the whole knowledge of God and Jesus spoke about cutting it out of whole cloth… for example…

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

There is “an element” of penal substitution to the cross of Christ, but you capitalize the letters, make it the whole enchilada, “Penal Substitution” and its like saying “light is yellow”. It is only an element. There are other equally important elements and they make up “whole light”. Instead of looking for the relationship between gradients theologians like to draw rings around theories and dance by the fire of them and take them up like a war-cry, and rarely get to the substance where the union is found between what to them are opposing views.

Someone else comes along and says, “Light is NOT yellow!” and they are right, but they are also wrong.


#10

Steve 7150 wrote:
I believe forgiveness was in his death and reconciliation was in his resurrection.

Steve, WHY do you believe forgiveness was in his death? Was his death necessary in order for him to forgive? If so, how was he able to forgive so many people prior to his death while he still walked this earth?

“He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” Rom 4.25 RE forgiving people before his death, i can only guess that perhaps God saw his sacrifice as applying both past/present & future in time.


#11

I mean no disrespect, but that answer is a little out there… I don’t think Jesus had to die for God to forgive us, rather, I think he had to die because people wanted him to die and he wanted to demonstrate that death has no hold over him and that he forgives others even as they were nailing him the cross. It was a demonstration that no matter how evil we are, God is still in control and is forgiving. How that all works out, I don’t know… But I certainly don’t think the ‘cross’ was required. I think he could have died being stoned to death, or lit on fire. But, it would had to have been a joint decision for the jews. A random stoning because 5-6 people didn’t like him wasn’t a rejection, that was just a mob. But when the entire nation shouted ‘crucify’ what they were saying is "Death to him!’ and crucifixion was just the standard capital punishment for that time


#12

“He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” Rom 4.25 RE forgiving people before his death, i can only guess that perhaps God saw his sacrifice as applying both past/present & future in time.

I mean no disrespect, but that answer is a little out there… I don’t think Jesus had to die for God to forgive us, rather, I think he had to die because people wanted him to die and he wanted to demonstrate that death has no hold over him and that he forgives others even as they were nailing him the cross. It was a demonstration that no matter how evil we are, God is still in control and is forgiving. How that all works out, I don’t know… But I certainly don’t think the ‘cross’ was required. I think he could have died being stoned to death, or lit on fire.

Well i simply quoted Paul , so how would you interpret Paul in Rom 4.25? Also there were some prophecies that may have had to be fulfilled in the way he died.


#13

Well, according to Paul, Peter, and the writer to the Hebrews, Christ didn’t die only because the Jews urged His death. Beyond the fact that He was crucified because of the hatred for Him, His death was a BENEFIT to all who submit to His Lordship. The following passages state WHY He submitted Himself to being crucified (even though He could have prayed to His Father and He would have provided over twelve legions of angels to save Him (Matt 26:53)

The following passages tell us why He submitted to dying, and in what ways His death benefited us:

*I Peter 2:24 He himself endured our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

II Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Heb 9:26 …he has appeared once for all at the end of the age for the abolition of sin by the sacrifice of himself.
*


#14

On another thread, qaz has said,

I think my above essay, Is God Bloodthirsty?, addresses this concern.


#15

Maybe, just maybe, we do not KNOW why… :open_mouth: So we get experts to tell us how to think and what God really says… :confused:

It is BS. WE ALL HAVE AN OPINION.

Let’s use the brain God gave us to start to figure stuff out for ourselves, no matter how controversial. And lets be women or man enough to admit when we don’t know.


#16

In this essay I truthfully attempt to support my “controversial” counterclaims against the idea that God is bloodthirsty. This is my opinion, but it is not BS: I wrestle with the Scriptures—with my brain, and in prayer—in order to promote the goodness of God.


#17

I appreciated your essay and your thoughts very much, Hermano. Thank you!


#18

Blood in the Bible symbolizes life. The blood of Christ was His love poured out. In faith union with Christ His blood (love) cleanses our sins. God’s not bloodthirsty. He’s pleased with the blood because by it we are cleansed and healed. We are crucified with Christ baptized into His death and resurrected. The sacrifice of Christ was a pleasing fragrance and aroma to God. Not because He’s sadistic and bloodthirsty and delights in suffering for it’s own sake. But He was pleased in the loving obedience of Christ in showing love and grace to sinners.


#19

No Hermano, You seem like a very likable and dedicated to the subject person, My BS part was that there are numerous “experts or authorities” that expound on all kinds different biblical issues. I realize you ‘believe’ this and have no problem with it. Was simply stating it was an opinion like many others. And we may well NOT KNOW :laughing:


#20

Thank you, Maintenanceman! Thank you, Paidion! Thank you, St. Michael!

Happy Easter!