Essay # 7:
Blood versus Water
It could perhaps be said that it may be a true comment that "Without the accidental shedding of pedestrians' blood, shall no law protecting pedestrians be passed."
Probably anyways, and generally speaking, no law protecting pedestrians at intersections, for example, will likely be passed in the state legislature or city council without there being a number of pedestrians accidentally injured and/or accidentally killed beforehand, because people just don't see the reasons for such laws otherwise.
These concepts imply that possibly a similar interpretation could be derived from Hebrews 9:22 where it reads concerning the ancient Israelite laws given by God through Moses, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission."
In other words, possibly Hebrews 9:22 is partially a lamentation concerning the idea that it takes having suffering occur to the point of someone being killed in order to convince people to forgive sins.
The writings of some of the Old Testament prophets suggest that blood sacrifice, or in other words, murder, is something that possibly God does not appreciate very much.
See Hosea 6:6 ("For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."; NKJV), Isaiah chapter 1, Isaiah chapter 11, Jonah 4:11, 2 Samuel 12:1-12 ff, where "ff" means "and verses following", according to The New Scofield Study Bible; 1998 edition; King James Version (KJV); Oxford University Press; New York; 1998.
Also please see Hosea 2:18 ff, and possibly Psalm chapter 51; although Psalm 51 ends with King David's apparent desire to have bullocks killed on an altar (see Psalm 51:18-19), which is in seeming contradiction to the previous scripture portion of Psalm 51 where it says that God does not require sacrifice, (Psalm 51:16-17); although David may yet still have been interested in sacrificing the bullocks on an altar in order for him to have the meat from them for food, possibly.
Here is Psalm 51 according to the Blue Letter Bible:
[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.]] Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
Version or King James Version (KJV), 1611, 1769.
Outside of the United Kingdom, the KJV is in the public domain. Within the United Kingdom, the rights to the KJV are vested in the Crown.
Described in 2 Samuel 12:1-12 ff, King David does however show at least some sense of compassion when he expresses his righteous indignation over the killing of the poor man’s lamb, concerning the story told to him by the Prophet Nathan about a poor man who had a pet lamb that he had raised from its infancy and cared for as if it were his own "daughter", but which, after a rich man of the locality, instead of taking an animal from his own flock of animals, instead of taking such a flock animal of his own, for it to be killed for dinner for the visiting guest of the rich man; instead of that, the rich man took the poor man’s pet lamb and killed it for dinner instead; without asking permission whatsoever, from the poor man, whose pet lamb it was.
As if permission were anything whatsoever that would have been granted at all, because the poor man apparently loved his pet lamb so much. Probably, he would never grant such a permission whatsoever.
Whether that story was a story describing a real event, or whether it was only an analogy or whether it was a parable used by the Prophet Nathan, possibly a parable given to the Prophet Nathan from God to tell to King David, in order to describe to King David, King David’s wrongful adultery with Bathsheba; and King David’s accompanying wrongful commanding his military official to have Uriah the Hittite to, effectively speaking, be murdered, by his own countrymen, by Israel's own soldiers, in the heat of battle, by having him to be being in a part of the battle where the enemy soldiers were valiant and then to have Israel's own soldiers that previously had been with him in the battle, to retreat from him so that he would be needing to fight the enemy's valiant soldiers all by himself; which Israel's own soldiers did, according to what had been commanded them to do; leaving poor Uriah the Hittite to fight the enemy's valiant soldiers all by himself; and so therefore he was killed in the battle. Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba's husband, had thusly by the command of King David been doomed ahead of time, even though he had been a loyal soldier who had been fighting in the war against the Ammonites. It is a story that is told in the Bible in 2 Samuel 11:1-27.
See also possibly Micah 6:8; and Hebrews, chapters 7, 9 and 10.
Although, be careful of the "poison" part of the middle of Hebrews 10 where if it is read incorrectly can lead to the possibly erroneous idea that God does not forgive persons’ "willful" sins even after they have become Christians.
See Hal Lindsey’s books such as The Late, Great Planet Earth in at least one of which such books he explains that the only sin that is unforgiveable, possibly including so-called "sins against the Holy Spirit", is the sin of not accepting a person’s own forgiveness that was bought for him/her/it and for each one of us all by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when He voluntarily submitted Himself to die for each one of us and for us all, once and for all time, back on that cruel Roman Calvary Cross of Execution back in the era of that cruel and brutal Roman Empire around 2,000 years ago.
See also the book titled War on the Saints by Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts.
Also, please consider the Essenes groups, some of whom apparently did not believe in doing such blood sacrifices at all.
Furthermore, sometime during the Old Testament times, there apparently were groups that believed in ritual washings with water as a means of not only becoming physically clean, but of washing with water to somehow help with ethical/moral cleanliness and ethical/moral righteousness; possibly as an alternative to blood sacrificings.
Also, remember those ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered in 1947-1948 that were stored long ago in those brittle clay jars in the Qumran caves along the western desert shores of the Dead Sea in Israel?
By that event of those Dead Sea Scrolls being discovered, it is implied thereby that there existed a group of persons who wrote and collected and stored those Dead Sea Scrolls in those clay jars, as archives of holy literature, a group that apparently also had ritual washings of some kind, as evidenced by the apparently nearby stones-built living quarters discovered by archaeologists, which ostensibly included ritual washings/bathings pools, as well as community living quarters and meeting rooms; those being located, presumably, near to or associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls caves; such washings being apparently intended as ethics/morality/righteousness/forgiveness cleansing rituals for their community as well as washings for physical cleanliness reasons; whether that Dead Sea Scrolls group believed the same as the other Essenes groups that allegedly did not believe in blood sacrificings at all; or not.
Plausibly, these were those who went out to live in the desert caves to the west of the Salt Sea (also apparently known as the Sea of the Arabah, or the Dead Sea) to separate themselves from what they perceived as the evil activities of those in control of Jerusalem back then; possibly for their evil activities towards more devout Jews and Israelites back then; but also possibly because of "the blood sacrificing cult" in power back then, there in Jerusalem, at the Temple; whereby innocent animals were murdered in the name of God; supposedly for ostensibly legitimate reasons; whereas Hosea 6:6 NKJV says something such as "For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings."
Although it is conceivable that some of the Essenes groups that had left Jerusalem; that they had left mainly because of the governmental evils of Jerusalem back then towards them as human beings, instead, or as well; not only because of the governmental evils in Jerusalem back then against their animal friends.
Continuing on forward, John the Baptist preached "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins", (Mark 1:4); possibly also as an alternative to the blood sacrificing activities practiced by the Romans, and as an alternative to the blood sacrificing activities practiced by the Israelite Levites and the Jewish priests.
Possibly there was therefore a then growing "movement" of opinions among the Israelite and Jewish populations; or among God; or among the angels; or among the prophets; or among others who also might have been on God's side, possibly) against blood sacrificing; in favor of other means than blood sacrificings to acquire forgiveness for sins and wrongdoings; with John the Baptist being involved in the flow of that opposition movement; with him thus opposing the almost inexorable "Juggernaut" of Humanity's mainstream flows of barbaric practices; including those enforced by legislation; in particular, the laws of the Romans, and the laws of the Israelite Levites and the laws of the Jewish priests; with John the Baptist baptizing people "against the tide", so to speak, of those mainstream flows, accordingly.
In Jeremiah chapter 7 it implies that at the first, that the Lord God Jehovah did not command the Israelites to do animal sacrifices at all, but that He said something merely to the effect of that "These are my laws. Walk ye in them."
However, in response to that simple advocating that the Israelites should merely recognize God’s laws and "walk in them", i.e., possibly to merely obey those simple but nonetheless righteous ethical and moral precepts;
That instead however, that the Israelites "went backward, and not forward" in that they involved themselves, apparently, with evil practices that were similar to, or related to the evil practices of the foreign pagan nations that surrounded Israel, with their pagan idolatrous religious practices of doing sacrificial human murderings in front of idol statues; as well as apparently doing sacrificial animal murderings, also.
From the Blue Letter Bible of the Internet, here is Jeremiah 7:21-26:
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
Therefore, apparently, the "LORD" (which said word "LORD" being in all capital letters allegedly is how the King James Version (KJV) of The Holy Bible translates the original Hebrew manuscript text’s "Tetragrammaton" four-lettered all-consonants word, which is "YHWH"; which is possibly sometimes translated by modern Jews as "Adonai"; allegedly out of reverence and respect for God, to attempt to keep the Name of God to be holy, separate, and not as easy to blaspheme (which word "Adonai" apparently also means "Lord") or which tetragrammaton word YHWH has been translated by some English translators as "Jehovah", or "Yahweh", or possibly pronounced in Hebrew, "Yahovah", or "Yahowah").
Whichever is the case; the LORD (Jehovah), or "the Lord God", apparently either:
Category #1. Eventually instituted the animal sacrificial laws; although apparently at the first, not giving commandments at all concerning such laws (Please see Jeremiah 7:21-26 as quoted above in this essay):
Possibly reasoning something such as that if the Israelites desired to murder other creatures so much, then why not let them murder animals instead of human beings? Although perhaps not reasoning thusly.
Category #2. However, possibly the LORD’s heart was not involved as much in those types of prospective laws, which were violent, but rather in laws of a more overt compassion, instead.
Concerning category #1:
Consider the concepts referred to later on in Jeremiah chapter 7; with references to "Tophet", and "the Valley of the Son of Hinnom", and "the Valley of Slaughter"; where the LORD sternly warns Israel of upcoming judgment and punishment of Israel apparently for their sins of murdering the innocents.
Elsewhere in the Holy Bible, in Deuteronomy 12:31, it says of such surrounding pagan nations, something such as: "For even their sons and their daughters have they burnt in the fire unto their gods."
Thus, possibly the Lord God instituted the system of animal sacrifices, possibly as an alternative to the Israelites' apparent desire to murder human beings.
Possibly God reasoned something to the effect that, (this is not an actual quote of any kind, that I know of, but only an attempt at portraying the gist of what might have been reasoned, concerning such topics): "Seeing as how these Children of Israel of Mine apparently like to do human murderings: Let us make animal murderings an event related to abiding by My ethical and moral laws, so that they do not feel as much a need to do human murderings instead."
However, it has been speculated that Lord God Jehovah actually was not responsible for such animal sacrifices requirements at all; which according to Keith Akers, author of the internet article, "Was Jesus a Vegetarian?" at website www.compassionatespirit.com , was what possibly was the case concerning what has been referred to by other authors as being the true alternative truth; namely that the allegedly "true ancient history" of Israel and Jehovah and the sacrificial system of the Jerusalem Temple whereby there allegedly were not any commands by Jehovah to murder innocent animals at all.
Allegedly, according to Keith Akers, the "Jewish Christians", who apparently were Jews who were living at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ approximately 2,000 years ago in Israel and possibly elsewhere as well, as subjects of the Roman Empire; Those Jewish Christians were Jews who came to believe in the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, those Jewish Christians allegedly believed in abstaining from meat for compassion reasons and thusly therefore they believed in vegetarianism and may have had something to do with the Essene community members who allegedly believed in refraining from meat for Reverence for Life reasons; and had separated themselves from Jerusalem and the "blood sacrificing cult" that allegedly had overtaken the Temple authority structure there; members of which said blood sacrificing cult people were in power there in Jerusalem;
Those Jewish Christians thus had separated themselves from those blood sacrificings activities in Jerusalem to live instead elsewhere; possibly in the western Dead Sea shoreline parched dry cliffs caves to the Southeast of Jerusalem, collecting and carefully preserving holy scripture writings there, and storing them in clay jars, which writings have now been discovered by modern Civilization as of 1947-1948 when a Bedouin boy discovered a scroll or scrolls in a clay jar after throwing a stone into a cave in efforts to retrieve his pet goat from there, which writings are now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
As well as possibly there being another possibly similar group of Essenes people, possibly believing more strongly in abstaining from animal sacrifices and abstaining from meat murderings than the Dead Sea Scrolls community did; if that Dead Sea Scrolls community did believe in such refraining from such animal sacrifices at all; but which said northwestern Essenes group of Jews, who instead apparently also had left Jerusalem to live separately from Jerusalem; to live elsewhere, but possibly intending to separate themselves more strongly from "the blood sacrificing cult" of the Jerusalem Temple to live instead in the vicinity of Mt. Carmel to the northwest of Jerusalem;
Where Elijah had challenged the followers of the false and evil god Baal who, along with his evil wife Ashtoreth, have been referred to as allegedly "official murderers of little children"; according to Halley’s Bible Handbook; a book composed of writings which apparently were derived from oral recitals of entire books of The Holy Bible that Baptist Minister Henry H. Halley had given to audiences; such complete memorization and recitals being done by him supposedly of the entire Bible; he giving such recitals of entire books of the Bible allegedly completely by memory alone.
That was Mt. Carmel, in the vicinity of which there also were caves; with possibly some or all of those persons in the northwestern communities near Mt. Carmel being referred to as "Nazarenes"; (which said word on a website on the Internet has referred to as a word which possibly was derived from a combination of the Hebrew word "nazir"; allegedly having to do with Nazarites and righteousness; and the word "Essene"; which said combining of words allegedly possibly resulted in the combination resultant word "Nazarene"); with the town of Nazareth being where the Lord Jesus possibly grew up; Nazareth allegedly being not far from that Mt. Carmel.
Thus, some of those Jewish Christians apparently believed that the "true" original law given to Moses did not contain commands to sacrifice animals at all; nor to engage in violent warfare at all; but that such violent laws and violent rules were somehow added later by later scribes:
With such being possibly: 1. erroneously or 2. intentionally and/or 3. sinfully incorporated into the biblical texts, either 1. by ignorant scribes or 2. by intentionally evil scribes who came after Moses.
However, please see the internet website, called "Ezra creates his Law of Moses" in which it is suggested that when the Emperor of Persia Cyrus the Great allowed the various peoples of his conquered lands to return to their homelands, or at least when he allowed the Jews, anyways, to return to Israel after the Babylonian invasion had taken many of them as captives to Babylon for some 50-70 years; that when he did such liberating of the various conquered peoples under his rule after Persia had eventually conquered Babylonia;
That Ezra the scribe, who apparently was charged by Cyrus the Great with the task of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem; When Ezra arrived at Jerusalem, that Ezra found that all complete copies of the original law of Moses had been burnt or mostly destroyed; and so that therefore Ezra had to piece together a new law of Moses based on his memory, and on the memories of other the Jews' oral tradition; and possibly on scraps or fragments of the original true law of Moses left over after the main copies of the original law of Moses had been destroyed.
Also, allegedly Ezra was influenced by the violent practices of the Babylonians in Babylon that he and the other Jews had lived amongst for at least 50 years; in that allegedly the Babylonians had done animal sacrificings, as well as human sacrificings; and also, violent warfare.
And so therefore, with possibly those memories of Ezra's and with the memories of the other Jews' oral tradition, and with apparently and allegedly, only a small number of scraps or fragments of the alleged actual documents of the alleged original true law of Moses available, ostensibly Ezra re-wrote the law of Moses as best he could because the original complete copies of the law of Moses allegedly and possibly had, for the most part all been majorly damaged or destroyed.
Furthermore, according to that website, and possibly according to other websites also, the original true law of Moses did not contain commandments to sacrificially murder animals or to engage in violent murderous warfare at all.
And also allegedly, the Nazarene Essenes and the Lord Jesus Christ did not believe in animal blood sacrificings either.
Remember: according to one website about what a "Nazarene" may have been, it is conjectured that the word "Nazarene" may have been the result of combining the word "Nazir" (which may be related to the word "Nazarite" and which may mean something related to "righteous one") with the word "Essene"; that thus therefore resulting in the word, "Nazarene."
Keith Akers in his article, "Was Jesus a vegetarian?" also possibly states that the ancient historian Eusebius said that James the brother of the Lord Jesus was a vegetarian and was evidently raised as a vegetarian by his and the Lord Jesus’s parents, who possibly therefore were vegetarians. Hence therefore the Lord Jesus was possibly raised as a vegetarian, also.
Also allegedly, all the twelve Apostles, and many others of the Lord Jesus Christ's followers abstained both from meat and from wine; completely.
However, concerning God’s possibly intending to eventually do away with that death-dealing animal-sacrificing forgiveness system, to set up instead a forgiveness system based on agape' love and mercy:
Possibly the almost unstoppable "Juggernaut" of the Roman, Levitical, and Jewish blood-sacrificing secular and religious communities was plausibly so majorly difficult to oppose and to convince people of the evils of,
That it would have taken something more than simply advocating that people resort to general moral repenting/reconsidering alone;
1. Possibly repenting or reconsidering with respect to that one particular specific case of repenting/reconsidering concerning that one specific moral tenet of God’s apparently desiring us Judeo-Christian human beings to "have mercy, and not sacrifice": (Hosea 6:6) and more generally, possibly including:
2. Repenting more generally concerning what the water baptisms done by John the Baptist possibly were intended to be symbolizing, i.e., that is to say, those water baptisms (Mark 1:4) possibly being meant to be symbolizing the activity of repenting and/or reconsidering in general; such as concerning The Ten Commandments; (Exodus chapter 20);
Which said referred-to righteousness principles, in addition to the Ten Commandments; possibly included that one specific particular ethical and moral tenet of having mercy and not sacrifice (Hosea 6;6); as a subset of the overall general set of ethical and moral precepts being advocated by God.
Please see Exodus chapter 20; and the New Testament places where the Lord Jesus when asked about what He regarded as the most great commandment(s) of the law of God given to/through Moses were, that the Lord Jesus remarked something such as that the first commandment is something like "Hear O Israel: thou shalt love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your mind and with all your strength"; and that the second most important commandment is something such as that "You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself."
Here is Mark 12:28-34 from the Blue Letter Bible of the Internet:
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandmentsis, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
However, possibly it would have taken more than simply advocating that people repent or reconsider concerning righteousness in general, to achieve change concerning it.
Hence it was still necessary that someone help with that.
However, pre-plannedly, then enters our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the scene.
John 1:29 (KJV) "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
Apparently, according to some Bible interpretors, that verse (John 1:29) possibly might mean something such as that either:
1. According to such possible Bible interpretations, that just referred to remark of John the Baptist in John 1:29, might mean that Almighty Lord God Jehovah as our Lord Jesus Christ was being predicted by that verse as intending to die in each of all of our places instead each of us having to die for each one of us’s own sins; In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ would allegedly be intending to die for us, since otherwise we each could not pay for his/her own personal sins by each of us having to die ourselves: since that way we would likely end up dead and damned; which would be absolutely unbearable.
2. Even if He, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Father Almighty Lord God Jehovah were forgiving us on the basis of our having had sincere changes of heart by our "re-penting" or "re-considering", (i.e., in other words, by our changing our thinking concerning such topics related to our unethical and immoral behaviors in comparison with God's laws as written about in the Holy Bible) and by our sincerely intending to attempt to reform those behaviors of ours, according to principles of portions of the Old Testament where it says such things as, "Rend your hearts and not your garments", or "Come now, let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool", instead.
("Scarlet", or "red", possibly meaning to indicate that a person’s sins may have involved possibly bloody red murder). In other words, if we sincerely repent, and have a true change of heart, that we can be forgiven even of very bad and evil "bloody red" sins and be washed by God of all our sins so that we can be forgiven; and so that we can be ethically, morally, relatively, and comparatively made "clean and white", as wool is, "reckoning ourselves indeed as dead unto sin, but alive unto God".
Please see Romans 6:11.
We thus could start over, ready to begin anew, and ready to do good works for God and Good, instead.
Please see the Billy Graham Crusades Classics episode titled something such as "Forgiveness" in which Billy Graham mentions that there was a very evil king of ancient Israel or Judah called Manasseh who had filled the streets of the localities there with blood and who was even resposible for having the Prophet Isaiah sawn in two, thus murdering him; but that when Manasseh repented with a true change of heart, that God forgave him.
Although, it has been said that "We are not saved by our good works, but rather, we have been saved by God’s grace and mercy to do good works"; to do such good works, out of a spirit of love and voluntary devotion, rather than out of a spirit of our attempting to earn our way to God’s freely given love and salvation and forgiveness and Heaven, since our possibly attempting to earn our way concerning those, is a hopeless, impossible task, since God’s ethical and moral standards of righteousness are more than astronomically too high for us to live up to.
God loves each and every one of us and wants each and every one of us first to admit that we are each and every one of us born into sin by the fact that we are each and every one of us all descended from our ancestors Adam and Eve, who sinned in the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago, and thus brought sin upon themselves and upon all their human offspring and posterity; and then for each and every one of us all to call out to God in a truthful and sincere prayer to ask the Lord God Jehovah to forgive each and every one of us all of each and every one of all of our sins in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 3.17, Romans 3.23 ff, Romans 6.23, Romans 10.13) and also to ask Him to help each one of us to live a better life of our own and to attempt to help others according to God’s Holy Bible writings and God’s Holy Spirit.
There is, or was, in the recent past on the internet a website by a Jewish author who said that he did not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ’s dying on the (ancient, cruel) Cross (of execution), the Hebrew-derived named, cruel "Golgotha" Cross, or named differently, using apparently the Roman word for the place of the cross, the cruel "Calvary" Cross, that that voluntary self-sacrificing of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His voluntarily dying for us, was necessary in order for us to be forgiven of all our sins but that that forgiveness could be accomplished by our sincerely repenting and changing each one of us’ hearts and behaviors, and that Christians’ involving themselves with believing in such concepts as Jesus’s being crucified for us was possibly a dangerous involvement with principles of the practice of human sacrificing, which is prohibited by Hebrew law.
Was, or is God forgiving us because we sincerely repent, reconsider, and have true changes of heart and intents concerning His ethical and moral laws, but He, God, having the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cruel Roman Calvary crucifixion cross to help us to feel better, i.e., in other words, for us to possibly feel relieved because A. someone else had possibly mistakenly gotten blamed for our sins and crimes instead of us? Or B. To show those persons requiring that a person pay for his/her crimes and sins, that the penalty had already been paid for us; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to have achieved a legitimate substitution for us; with His, the Lord Jesus Christ’s life, being taken instead of ours?
Or both, or what?
It apparently was a practice of the Romans of the Roman Empire some 2,000 years ago to crucify people by tying them with ropes onto crosses and by nailing metal spikes into their hands or wrists and feet into those wooden crosses; and then hoisting those crosses up into a vertical position, thus hanging those persons on such wooden crosses to cause them to hang there until they either bled to death, or until whatever else might happen to cause them to die, occurred, for to punish them for their crimes or whatever else, to punish them that way even for such seemingly minor crimes such as the crime of theft; although there were other varieties of thefts back then apparently, than just minor varieties of theft: there apparently were major varieties of theft also, in the ancient world, as well as in our more modern world.
Possibly the penalties were so severe back then because those major types of theft may have involved the stealing of a life-sustaining item or items, such as is in the case of the theft of a potentially life-saving item such as in the case of the theft of a horse, where which, in the ancient world, or in any serious life and death circumstance of even in our "modern" times, may be such that the good or life-sustaining outcomes of troublous circumstances may depend upon having a horse in good health to use to defend life with, when it would be a serious threat to someone were such a horse to be stolen from him, which when he, if he lived out in the countryside a long ways from town, for example, when he may have had a severe need for the horse so that he could go to town to fetch medicine for his family or for himself, or to seek other such life-rescuing help from town.
Nonetheless, God would probably prefer that we have love for, and mercy on such thieves as much as can be managed, rather than to subject them to such cruel punishment.
In the ancient Assyrian Empire, generally in Northern Mesopotamia more than 2,000 years ago, which regions back then would be partly part of present day northern Iraq, allegedly they used to chop off the hands of thieves, which is not quite as severe as crucifying them for theft as the Romans did later on, during, and in, the Roman Empire, but sobering nonetheless.
During the times of the Roman Empire, a similarly-occurring type of event, and a specific incidence of such a general event, but much more severe, was according to the Holy Bible, the case where each of two thieves were thusly crucified for their crimes of theft, on each side, apparently on the left side and on the right side, of the Lord Jesus Christ at Golgotha, which was called "the place of the skull", a place where criminals and sinners were crucified, outside the Jewish capital city of Jerusalem, where our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, although for Him it was for the alleged crime and sin of claiming to be, and/or for being, "King of the Jews"; and/or for claiming to be the Son of God.
It is widespreadly believed to be a true concept, and in this author’s opinion, actually a true concept, that the Lord Jesus Christ, by thusly voluntarily allowing Himself to be crucified by the Romans upon being delivered over to such execution by the Jewish religious authorities, that He somehow saved us all from a similar fate at the hands of God, He the Lord Jesus Christ dying in our place, i.e., that is to say, the Lord Jesus Christ died instead of us needing to die, ourselves.
Back during the times and era of the Roman Empire, apparently persons were also crucified for other crimes, such as for the crime of being part of a slaves’ rebellion army, those slaves possibly attempting to rebel against their Roman slaveholders, such as possibly was the specific case back then of one such slaves' rebellion led by a man named Spartacus.
There was during the 20th century an American movie titled Spartacus that depicts that rebellion of the slaves, starring Kirk Douglas, in which one such group of rebelling slaves, who had been attempting to fight against Rome, and who according to the film trailer, had destroyed nine of Rome's armies; but which said Spartacus rebelling slaves were finally somehow defeated and captured by the Romans, and the members of the group were confronted by the prospect of losing their leader Spartacus to be punished for his leading the insurrection, with him to be punished by crucifixion.
To view this movie named Spartacus from 20th century America, just click on this link:
As Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) begins to admit to being the leader of the rebel army rebellion and begins to say something therefore to that effect; when it was asked by the Roman soldiers as to who it was who was Spartacus, the leader of the uprising;
Then he, Spartacus (portrayed by Kirk Douglas), before he admits to it, apparently he intending to say something such as, "I am Spartacus".
Then before that however, one of his men speaks out at first, saying I'm Spartacus; and then afterwards, others of his men cry out, one by one, and then later as a group, crying out, saying effectively, "No, I am Spartacus" and then again, "I'm Spartacus", and then again, "I'm Spartacus"; and so on down the road; presumably them attempting to make such claims in an effort by them to confuse the Roman soldiers as to who the actual leader of the slaves rebellion actually was, possibly thus attempting to interfere somehow with the Roman soldiers’ deliberations, who were intending to crucify Spartacus in order to punish him as an example.
Then however, the Romans commanded that the whole lot of them be crucified; and then they did so, resulting in a long chain of crosses with Spartacus and his men nailed to them, extending down the side or sides of the road.
Although it does not show that incident in the trailer, the trailer can be viewed here. Just click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVWec24fdCA .
There are 10 movie clips of Spartacus which can be viewed. One clip that does show part of the "I'm Spartacus" portion of the film is the "I'm Spartacus (8/10) clip. Just click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKCmyiljKo0 .
Dvd's and other formats of discs of the full film titled Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas can be purchased from Amazon.com. Just click on this link: http://amzn.to/27OPEFZ .
There is a verse in the New Testament of The Holy Bible where it says that the Lord Jesus Christ said something such as "Take up your cross and follow me."
Was the original word "cross" or "crosses" ?
From the Blue Letter Bible of the Internet:
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
[It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Here is this author’s admittedly-amateur; amateur-scripture-text-interpretor’s note:
The specific words, "blood of others" of
Hebrews 9:25 might be meaning that such sacrifices that resulted in the blood of innocent animals being brought into the Temple, was the result of the murder of such "other persons" than the priests themselves; such "persons", possibly namely being the animals who were sacrificed; animals who could also be believed as having possibly been being somewhat sentient beings as we are, before they were sacrificed and thus murdered.
Such sentient, mostly innocent animals could be thought of as sometimes being very similar to us human beings in many ways: with such animals even doing such activities as thinking and reasoning, and as modern day Nature and Science documentaries show, those animals even doing tool using, and having emotions, feeling pain and suffering and having disappointment like we feel and have, and loving and protecting their young; such animals as birds, sheep, goats, oxen and cattle.
Furthermore, the religious practices of many of the pagan religions of the tribes and nations that surrounded Israel back then in the earlier times of Israel’s history, at the instituting of the Mosaic/Aaronic animal sacrificing laws in Israel; those pagan nations’ religious practices apparently involved the much worse, or as worse, practice of doing human sacrifices instead of, or in addition to, those heathen nations doing sacrificings of animals; worse from our point of view as human beings, anyways; but probably much worse from the sacrificial animals’ points of view, since their lives probably would have been regarded as worth even less, in the eyes of those human beings who did those human sacrificings, in those heathen nations where human beings were sacrificially murdered also.
Remember that at the first, King Solomon was apparently sincere and humble and goodwilled and that King Solomon asked the LORD to give him wisdom as king to guide the nation of Israel with its twelve tribes.
But then later, after the Lord God had granted King Solomon much wisdom, and monetary wealth, and after King Solomon had acquired many wives and concubines; Then Solomon’s heart, according to The Holy Bible; then Solomon's wives and concubines turned his heart from worshipping the LORD and he became turned aside from reverencing the Lord God Jehovah and His precepts; for Solomon was apparently so convinced by his many wives and concubines, many of whom apparently were from pagan nations; so convinced by them that he became convinced to build altars to the foreign pagan gods of those pagan nations, building them even in Jerusalem; possibly even in the Temple of God in Jerusalem; where The Holy Bible says that the Lord God Jehovah had put His Name; His Holy Name of Lord God Jehovah that stood steadfastly against human sacrificings; and that stood stedfastly for being holy and righteous and compassionate.
In particular, that Holy Name of the Lord God Jehovah stood steadfastly against human sacrificing.
And as well, at least by the time and era that the Latter Prophets of the Holy Bible began to write, He also apparently was against animal sacrificing; even being against animal sacrificing in the Temple, according to some sources.
Thus, apparently King Solomon built pagan altars on which human beings were sacrificed; even possibly in the Temple in Jerusalem, in which The Holy Bible says that the LORD had put His Name, and which the Lord Jesus about some less than 1,000 years later described as being "the city of the great King."
Therefore, the LORD God was displeased with King Solomon’s sins and the LORD God "tore the kingdom away from him"; except that that judgment possibly started during the reign of his son Rehoboam, whose reign came after Solomon’s reign.
Please see the online book titled What the Bible Really Says by J.R. Hyland; which is able to be viewed on the Humane Religion magazine website; at: www.all-creatures.org/hr .
Remember also that possibly after the reign of Solomon in Israel, that the ten northern tribes of Israel’s twelve tribes, later thusly becoming known collectively as "Israel"; in the vicinity of the region of Samaria, under the leadership of "Jereboam the son of Nebat who made Israel to sin", were involved with "calf worship"; that statement possibly meaning that they idolatrously sacrificially murdered human beings in front of idol-statues each shaped like a calf; i.e., that is to say, shaped like a calf, a young offspring of cattle parents.
Concerning such, I hope that when people refer to the ten northern tribes as involved with "calf worship" that they do not mean that those tribes were involved with believing in Reverence for Life concerning the lives of calves, since such reverence for life would be, however, to the contrary in my opinion, a worthwhile belief to have and to attempt to do helpfulnesses to such calves: and more generally, to attempt to defend the lives of animals such as calves; young offspring of cattle; and to attempt to protect the lives of other animals also; as well as the lives of human beings, of course particularly such potentially liable-to-be-blood-sacrificed-animals in particular.
Hopefully that interpretation, the interpretation that calf worship might have meant a favoring of the lives of calves to the point of defending the calves from being murdered; hopefully that interpretation is not the interpretation that people defame, when they defame "calf worship"; since if that is true, then that might mean that that would imply that they believe The Holy Bible regards the defending of the lives of calves as a sin; which some scholars dispute.
Plausibly however, Jereboam the son of Nebat led the ten northern tribes in heinous idolatry; in which innocent human beings were murdered in front of idol-statues of calves.
May Almighty God have mercy on us; as we have mercy on others, with His compassionate help for us and for others; including for the lives of the animals.
The southern remaining two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the tribe of Judah in particular, since the members of the tribe of Benjamin were majorly killed and the tribe was thus "decimated" by a war between them and enemy forces:
The tribe of Judah (whose tribal members were and often are therefore called "Jews") was apparently regarded by God as almost alone in being potentially salvageable, relatively speaking, compared to the ten northern tribes, with some kings of Judah being righteous; such as possibly Hezekiah, and Josiah, although many kings of Judah apparently were very evil, such as Ahab, Zimri, Omri, and Mannasseh.
Please see Jeremiah chapter 7, Hosea 2.18 ff, Hosea 6.6 ("For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings" - NKJV), and Hosea chapter 8 ("Israel forsaketh his Maker, and buildeth temples"), and Luke 9.56a ("For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.").