“Are you trying to tell me that were not innocent? What was their religious crime?
I once watched a movie where the cavalry was fighting indians. The movie was filmed from a different point of view than the usual soldiers fighting their enemies, the indians. In this movie the cavalry was poised to swoop in and kill everyone in the indian village. Some new recruits questioned the ethics of killing innocent women, children and babies.
Who could they hurt?
One of the older soldiers replied that the women were the breeding machines of their enemy and the children and babies were little rats that grow up to be big rats.
(This certainly should offend christian sensibilities who are encouraged to love their enemies and isn’t it easy to love the innocents, the little children and harmless people. It's a little harder to love those who would hurt you.)
There is a saying that sinners are not sinners because they sin. People sin because they are sinners.
The bible says everyone is a sinner. So who's the enemy? Guess it depends on your perspective.
In the bible God boasts to satan about how good his servant Job is. The devil seems to indicate that because God has richly blessed Job with wealth and good health Job's love and respect for God is based on what God has given him, not true love for God. So satan asks God if he can trouble Job and take all that away. Even though Job loses much he manages to stay true to God, but satan just hangs back and keeps at it sure that eventually he won’t.
I'm not sure if Job does sin (don't quite understand that part of the story), but when it looks like Job might curse God for his bad luck, God intervenes. God asks Job just who he thinks he is to tell God how things should be done. Job knows who he is- he's not God. He humbles himself and willingly bows to God's will trusting in God's justice and love. God restores to Job all that he lost and more, sort of like the way God promises to do with those who trust and follow him in this life.
I know I'm not perfect. Only God is perfect. God loves us, but God is also just and righteous. It would seem he must resolve how to love imperfect humankind while maintaining his righteousness. These two things do not go together easily.
The bible refers to God as our father.
Fathers love their children. Most fathers agree that it would not be responsible of them to raise their children without rules(laws) by just letting them do as they please. If a child breaks a rule punishment may be meted out, but that does not mean that a father does not love his child. It does not mean that God does not love us.
“Sacrifices were common practice over two thousand years ago. Some practiced human sacrifice while others practiced animal sacrifice. That's the only basis on which those wise men wrote the bible. They could only write what they were aware of through their own life experience and hearing of others.
It wasn't that long ago that some cultures still practiced cannibalism. It had nothing to do with any gods; it was brought down from generation to generation; which we can now determine as total ignorance of human nature. “
What do you mean by sacrifice? Are you talking about pagan sacrifice- throwing virgins into volcanoes to appease the volcano gods?
The bible says the wages of sin is death. There was sacrifice for sin in the bible/throughout the Old Testament. Animals were sacrificed on the altar to atone for people’s imperfections/sin because righteousness must be honored or else justice becomes a joke.
Even so an animal sacrifice might atone for past sins, but then you need to make another sacrifice and another and another...
I think it was Abraham who was instructed by God to take his son and make him a sacrifice. Here you have a vivid image of the price justice requires for sin. But God reconciles the situation by sending the ram to take the place of Abraham’s son.
Later God would reconcile his love for us and his righteousness by sending the perfect sacrifice, the lamb of God, his son, to make atonement once and for all, for what animal sacrifice could not do. We will die to pay the debt for our sin. Jesus died. Jesus was righteous, perfect in all his ways. He did not sin. He did not deserve to die so he was raised from the dead. But what about the injustice of his death. He did not deserve to die.
Where is the justice, where is the atonement for this injustice. Well, what if he were to take his death, the death he did not deserve, and offer it to pay for our lives as an atonement for our sins so that through him we too may be risen with him. The wages of sin is death. The debt has been paid.
When I mention sacrifice I'm talking about sacrifices of the heart. Giving up a part of ourselves, like the way a father sacrifices his good times and money for his children's welfare, the way the good samaritan gave up his time and money to help someone in distress who he didn't even know, and like Jesus' willingness to give of himself for us, etc..
Didn’t realize this was so long. Well all this is simply my opinion.