A Questioning Child

Did Christ Die For Our Sins?

In the early 1960’s, St. Jude’s Orphanage took care of the motherless children of Lome, Togo. The children had a strict academic regimen and were also fed spiritually through daily bible study  with Father Kuntz. One day Fr. Kuntz talked about the necessity of Christ’s suffering on the cross for the forgiveness of sin which terribly confused 10 year old Edem.

“How does the death of one pure man wipe out the sins of a thousand guilty men? How does that work?”

“Well Edem,” Fr. Kuntz responded.  “Imagine a son who does something so evil that he cannot atone for his actions himself. His father who loves him and sees his suffering sends one who is pure and strong to take on the suffering of this weak son who no longer has the power to overcome his guilt and find his way back to his father.”

“So Jesus was this pure One who was sent to take on the suffering by the most brutal death? It seems unjust. I still do not understand Fr. Kuntz.”

“The Creator so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son all the way down to earth to show us misguided human beings the way back to Him and with His suffering on the Cross, He atoned for the sins of all who believe in Him.”

“I see, I think I understand better now, Edem interjected. Like you said, The Creator saw all the suffering in the world so He sent His pure Son to show us the way to a joyful existence. By telling us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself” He gave us the key to atoning for our guilt and righting the ship. Fr. Kuntz, could it be that it is through living in accordance with Jesus’ teaching and not His death on the cross that forgiveness of sins lie?  Could it be that His death was simply a consequence of man’s wickedness? I ask because I do not think It is the Will of The Creator, it lacks justice. Think about it Fr. Kuntz, how can sin be transferred from one person to another?”

Fr. Kuntz who simply imbibed this idea of a forgiveness of sin through the death on the cross without thoroughly examining it reflected on the 10 year old’s words. Jesus’ words on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” reverberated within him. Could these words buttress the fallacy of this idea of the necessity of His brutal death on the cross? He dismissed his students and went outside for further reflection.

In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”

~ Betrand Russell