Is God an appeasable deity who needs to see blood and suffering in order to change his heart toward us? If so, that would be a pretty diabolical idea.

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  • I would agree with David, that the degree of suffering that Christ endured upto his cruxifixion was not necessary for our salvation. But the fact that it did happen, reveals the extent and degree of the sinfulness of sin and the character of both satan and man, and although it was not NECESSARY, yet Christ endured it and in doing so, expressed to us the reality of God’s forgiveness in this way: that we truly are forgiven and that sin has really been completely dealt with, because how can it not, when Christ received all the fruits and effects of sin, in his suffering and death. And so, the sacrifice of Christ was not only a means of expressing God’s forgiveness, but also a condescending means of communucating to us the degree and extent of God’s forgiveness, so that we can finally, by faith, see ourselves completely free from sin and our nakedness completely clothed.
    But I do not believe that even his death was legally necessary, but the Law was used as an illustration to communicate to us the reality of sin and the death it brought, as well as the reality of God’s forgiveness and restoring us by His indwelling Spirit. Notice that Paul never said the death of Christ was ever legally necessary, but only that sin necessarily brought death because sin is separation from the source of life. Eternal life is a gift, and so the death of Christ was not necessary, but was needed to communicate to us human beings, the whole reality of his love for us.