From a very young age I have been curious about the Ransom Jesus provided. I always wondered why God found it necessary to have his son killed for our sins or our inherited sin, when he simply could have just waved his hand and forgiven us. My Catholic faith helped me some to understand the 'financial' exchange aspect of the Ransom, but it was never truly satisfying to my sensibilities.
Upon becoming a JW, I felt that they had better ideas and definitions. The 'legalistic' aspect they promulgated greatly helped me see how God would need to follow his own standards, and require the death penalty for sin. And since we are all sinners, thus deserving of death, we need the Ransom. But, even this still does not make sense. When we die the Bible says we are acquitted of our sin because of death ... which we all pay ... so, if we have paid for our own sin, then why not apply mercy and simply resurrect us after the fact? Why involve Jesus?
After I left the JWs, I continued my general acceptance of all this, but expanded my faith to include a number of things that add value to the Ransom, and why it is needed. But, I am still troubled by the whole thing.
Essentially, we are forced into sin because we are products of sinners all the way back to Adam and Eve. We did not choose in any way to sin, or become sinners. We are that way because of two things:
1) God's design to 'booby-trap' Adam and Eve so that they pass along sin and death because of their sin. A design that could have easily changed, as he did in the case of Jesus who was born of Mary (a sinner). Jesus was born sinless and remained so. Why could God not have done as much for us?
2) God's standards of death as payment for sin. A standard that he has the authority to set or not to set, to change or not to change, to apply rigidly, or not to apply, but waive. Who can argue with God if he decides to let his standard ride or not enforce it or simply change the law?
I had absolutely nothing to do with the sin inherited from Adam and Eve. I had no choice, no ability to be involved, because I was not alive to do anything one way or the other. Therefore, I submit, that if I am forced into sin by circumstances beyond my control, then the responsibility is not mine, but the one who has the power and authority to deal with it, namely God.
I am trying to sort out all this, because it seems that the Ransom, if it is truly God's rigid "legal" of "financial" standard that he refuses to deviate from, then it cannot be an act of generosity or "undeserved kindness," but rather, a moral responsibility on his part to deal with his design and all the poor, ignorant, sinful and imperfect people who are born not having a clue as to any universal issue; nor having any power or authority to do anything one way
or the other about it.
I am still not satisfied with this core Christian teaching, not because I lack faith in Jesus, but because I simply cannot understand the issue or the accountability held over our heads for sins we cannot help but commit; sins that we inherited from ancient people that we have no control over.
Here is another way to state the problem: My child disobeys my directions, and gets arrested for drunk driving. While held in prison, he gets married and has many children who are also held in prison. I built the prison, own the town, set the laws, and pay
the prison guards. Nonetheless, I wait until drunk child dies in 40 years, and then send my oldest son to die to pay the bail bonds and dismiss the case ... with one stipulation ... my grandchildren in jail must now place "faith" in and be adopted by my oldest son (their uncle) who died for them. Failure to do so will result in continued imprisonment and eventual death.
However, even after my grandchildren put faith in my oldest son, I allow other evil criminals (similar to the devil concept) to also go into the prison and teach confusion and rape and torture my grandchildren, their children, and their children's children for decades of years. Also, they continue in prison even after putting
faith in my oldest son and they die there ... but are told that someday they will get brought back to life to live the good life with me on the farm.
Would I seem psychotic to you if I did that to my children and grandchildren? Then, why is this somehow an act of love and mercy for God, who makes all the rules, has all the power, to take essentially the same approach, not just to a few children ... but billions of people over thousands of years? Is there anything wrong with the picture? Does anyone have any good
explanations? - Simply Amazing