3.4. Soteriology (Why did Jesus die?)

Responses to Death of Jesus Described in PBS Frontline, From Jesus to Christ

Transcript available on pbs.org

Complete episodes available on pbs.org

Crucifixion as Fulfillment of Psalm 22

Originally set as a generic plea for divine assistance from someone suffering

22:2 “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

22:8-9 “All who see me mock me… if God loves you, let him rescue you.”

22:17-19 “So wasted are my hands and feet… they divide my garments… cast lots…”

22:30 “All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage.”

22:31 “And I will live for the Lord.”

Crucifixion as Fulfillment of Isaiah 53

Suffering Servant originally set as metaphor for the Israelites in exile

53:5 But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity.

53:12 He surrendered himself to death, was counted among the transgressors, Bore the sins of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

Vicarious suffering – suffering on behalf of others

Crucifixion as Fulfillment of Psalm 89

Originally set as a plea for help from the Davidic king on a bad day, after a lost battle

89:4-5 [God promised] “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: I will make your dynasty stand forever and establish your throne through all ages.”

89:27-28, “He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock of my salvation!’ I myself make him the firstborn, Most High over the kings of the earth.”

89:39-46, “But now you have rejected and spurned, been enraged at your anointed. You renounced the covenant with your servant, defiled his crown in the dust... All who pass through seize plunder; his neighbors deride him... You turned back his sharp sword, did not support him in battle. You brought to an end his splendor, hurled his throne to the ground. You cut short the days of his youth, covered him with shame.”

89:49, “Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?”

Resurrection fulfills messianic promise of Davidic dynasty

Crucifixion Begins Battle Against Death

Apostles’ Creed: “He descended into hell.”

Interpretation of Genesis

Interpretation of restoration passages


Reading Responses

Conquest of Hell

If jesus died for our sins saving us from hell how come there is still a heaven and a hell?

If Jesus destroyed the contract with satan doesn't that mean everyone is free to sin without consequence? What happens to sinners now? Are they still going to hell even though the contract is void?

When Jesus defeats death and everyone from the underworld is rescued the text says they rise with Jesus. Does that mean they did their time in the underworld and now they're going to heaven?

Why is Hades involved with Jesus and Satan if there can be only one God (both Jews and Catholics) since Hades is the God of the underworld?

Payment for Sins

What if he had not died? How would the sins have transferred then?

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for humankind, did early Christians still do animal sacrifices?

If someone owes god from sins they committed, why can that debt be fulfilled with a third party unrelated to the sin? Couldn't the practice of sacrificing animals in place of personal suffering be abused?

The Death of Jesus

Why does Satan claim the Jews killed Jesus, was it not the Roman's who were fearful of Jesus's movement?

Did Jesus' followers start to question his abilities when he lost to the Roman Empire? Were Jesus followers confused when he was defeated?