Jesus sin Laden

Posted: January 9, 2012 by deadfliesmike in General

To continue j’s controversial thoughts on Jesus becoming sin for us,
here is some Barth on Jesus baptism

When He had Himself baptised with water by John, Jesus confessed both God and [humankind]. A better way of putting it is that because He confessed God, the God whose will was soon to be done on earth as it is in heaven, therefore He confessed [humankind], the [humans] who are in view in this doing of God’s will. Because He is committed unreservedly to subordination to God, therefore He is committed unreservedly to solidarity with [humankind]. He who as God’s Son was very different from all [people], being one with the Father who sent Him, and therefore Himself God, negated this difference, this distance, this strangeness between Himself and others, even to the last remnant. He became wholly and utterly one of them, not in an act of secret or even public condescension, like a king for a change donning a beggar’s rags and mingling with the crowd, but by belonging to them in every way, by being no more and no less than one of them, by having no point of reference except to them. He became one of them, not in order to renounce full fellowship with them when the game was over, like the king exchanging again the beggar’s rags for his kingly robes, not in order to leave again the table where He had seated Himself with publicans and sinners , and to find himself a better place, but in order to be one of them definitively as well as originally, unashamed to call them brethren to all eternity because He was their Brother from all eternity (Heb. 2:11), a veritable King in this true form of His, and at His place of honour. With the men of His people, then, He received the Word of God which came to John and to which John bore witness. With them He looked forward to the intimated new act of God which would change all things. With them He looked forward to the establishment of God’s kingdom, the threatened judgment, the remission and taking away of their sins. With them He obeyed the call for conversion issued to his people. With all the rest He had Himself baptised with water. With them He thus confessed His sins. His sins? If we do not say this, we question and even deny the totality of His self-giving to [humankind], and therewith the totality of His self-giving to God. We say that He had Himself baptised with the rest only improperly, contrary to the meaning of John’s preaching and baptism, in a demonstration which had neither truth nor necessity for Him. We say at root that this was just a theatrical show. But it was not a theatrical show. The seriousness with which others, frightened before God and setting their hope in Him alone, confessed their sins, is infinitely surpassed hereby the divine earnestness with which this One, when faced by the sins of all others, their confusions and corruptions, their big and little acts of ungodliness, did not let these sins be theirs, did not regard, bewail or judge them from a distance with tacit or open accusation, did not simply characterise them as sins by His own Otherness, but as the Son of His Father, elected and ordained from all eternity to be the Brother of these fatal brethren, caused them to be His own sins, confessed them as such, and therewith confessed that He was baptised in prospect of God’s kingdom, judgment and forgiveness. No one who came to the Jordan was as laden and afflicted as He. No one was as needy. No one was so utterly human, because so wholly fellow-human. No one confessed his sins so sincerely, so truly as his own, without side-glances at others. He stands alone in this, He who was elected and ordained from all eternity to partake of the sin of all in His own person, to bear its shame and curse in the place of all, to be the man responsible for all, and as such, wholly theirs, to live and act and suffer. This is what Jesus began to do when He had Himself baptised by John with all the others. This was the opening of His history as the salvation history of all the others.

~Karl Barth, CD IV/4, 58-59.
Ht Halden at inhabitatio Dei

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Comments
  1. Anil G says:

    I hope it’s not a crime to not know who *Barth* is, but if Barth contradicts scripture then we need to think for ourselves. Surely to put an argument we need to put the scripture, not just the Barth?

    Christ is always much more than human
    ————————————-

    I cannot see how *Christ* can be “no **more** … than one of [humanity]” if “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9) and if we are “complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). We are complete in Him. He is not complete in us. He is the head. We are the body.

    The NIV also phrases John 1:18 as the “Son … is himself God”. Surely this does not apply to other humans?

    1 Timothy 3:16 also points out that “God was manifest in the flesh, … received up into glory”. Christ started out as God and was still God by the time he ascended. This does make Christ *more* than normal humans.

    I presume Barth would not want to contradict the deity of Christ, but unfortunately he seems to be doing so, at least under some constrained periods of time, although Barth doesn’t (in this passage) seem to be clear about what times he wants Christ to be God and at what times not.

    Christ did not have sins to confess
    ———————————–

    For all Barth’s words, I can’t see how he manages to support a contradiction to Hebrews 4:15, even for some special case. No scriptural support is attempted.

    If Jesus had his own sins, how could he be without blemish (Exodus 12:5 etc. etc.)? Jesus needs to go to the cross without sin, just as the lambs went to the sacrifice without blemish.

    If Barth is proposing that Jesus was confessing sins, then I don’t understand why he does not feel the need to explain Matthew 3. John said “I have need to be baptised of thee”. John’s preaching didn’t understand the need for Jesus’ baptism, but clearly preached Jesus’ inalienable power and right to baptise in a way that he could not.

    Jesus did not answer according to Barth’s proposal. Instead Jesus said, “yes, I know, but do it anyway”. “Suffer it to be so now” (Matthew 3:15).

    We all know that there is no scriptural support for Jesus confessing sins.

    The Cross of Reconciliation
    —————————

    Why, oh why, does everyone want Jesus to be sinful? Why does *anyone* want the **Cross of Reconciliation** to be a cross of judgement? I can’t see any reason in scripture (albeit plenty of philosophy).

    Despite Barth and others’ attempts, **Jesus is yet without sin**.

  2. Hi Anil,
    No crime for not knowing Barth! He is simply a dead german theolgian.
    I think you are right to say Barth doesn’t want to deny Christs divinity, but he does want to think his humanity and divinity very, very closely together.

    Neither I (nor Barth) want to say that Jesus was in himself ‘sinful’. What Barth is trying to do is think through with all seriousness what it means for Jesus to take on OUR sins. Both in his life of obedience and in the cross. That is, the sins he confesses as his are in fact ours.

    Problem with Barth is that he works his doctrine of reconciliation over about 4 volumes, so it is always tricky to get his full thoughts in one blog post.

    I think we are probably on a pretty similar page, just coming from different angles.

    I guess the question underlying Barth here, and maybe for Jonathan too, is whether Jesus came to, and was one of, an ideal humanity, or to the actual messed up humanity that we have.

    I think (remember, Barth writes in millions of words) Barth would want to say the latter, and that Jesus is then utterly obedient from that utterly messed up place, as a human.

    So then, the question isn’t ‘Did Jesus actually disobey his Father’, but, ‘where’ did Jesus obey.

    Rambling thoughts, hope that clears it up a bit
    Mike

  3. Anil G says:

    I don’t see how we’re on the same page. I’m flatly contradicting you both, and I believe I’ve demonstrated how the Bible does as well.

    No-one seems able to address the scripture I’ve brought. If Barth wrote 2 million words does that change the obvious intent of the scripture? Or disprove my argument? Or am I so obviously wrong that you don’t need to explain?

    I think the scripture is obvious, and you still need to explain. Thanks for trying, Mike, but it’s just as clear as it was before.

    Jesus is a lamb without blemish. He’s still one of the flock and he’s still without sin. Neither did he confess sins to John, as we can see from their conversation so recorded.

    Is there anyone out there who has an argument from scripture?

  4. mike w says:

    err, I havent really been following the ‘argument’ in the previous posts, Anil (could it just be a ‘conversation’ here).
    I understand (and share) your concern both for scripture ans Jesus’ sinlessness and entire obedience to the Father.
    It seems all Barth is saying is that Jesus took on the sins of the world.
    That seems to be reasonably biblical. (although people who dig Limited atonement might not like it)
    now, admitedly, this is shocking. We should find it scandalous.
    As scandalous as Jesus’ own solidarity and eating with ‘sinners’.
    I’ll try to get to each of the scriptures you mentioned (a bit busy at the moment).
    In the meantime, I’ll try and read what you have to say really carefully. Blogs are a good place for conversation, rather than ‘arguments’ and ‘sides’
    god bless Anil,
    Mike

  5. Anil G says:

    Dear Mike – I’m not sure what you mean by ‘arguments’ and ‘sides’: I just discovered this public place where souls may be forgiven for believing the gospel was being discussed, and I found a cross of judgement and a blemished lamb. And all, it seems, without a single verse in support. In all honesty I could not decline to make the correction.

    When I refer to ‘argument’ I’m talking about ‘logic’. In other words; your conclusions need to make sense. I also hope that conclusions would be drawn from scripture. After a journey of a million words you may be found a long way from scripture.

    Barth is not just saying the Jesus *bore* the sins of the world, he is saying that Jesus *confessed* sins to John. This is about the identity of God and the authority of scripture.

    Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

  6. Hi Anil,
    fair enough. But just be careful on the internets. I haven’t really put many conclusions or arguments at all, just popped up a bit from a theologian who seemed to be saying similar things to Jonathan.

    Though Barth does say Jesus ‘confessed’, he (eventually) qualifies that as ‘making the sins of others his own’ (8 lines from the top).
    The line of Barth ‘no more no less’ is a bit dodgy if taken out of context, but it is right in the middle of Barth saying that Jesus is very different to us because he is eternally one with the Father, and again speaks of his ‘divine earnestness’ and his unity with the Father in this act. So your quoting of scripture about Jesus divinity is great, but doesn’t really need to be answered, because Barth is with you here.

    As far as I can see, Jonathan agrees with you about the ‘unblemished lamb’ ,so do I.

    As for Hebrews 7:26, Jesus role as a high priest is definitely one of purity and obedience, and yet that obedience for Jesus means also being the sacrifice. So the question is, does the sacrifice ritually take the sin of the people, is the sacrifice in some way representative of the people?
    The part that most supports your case is ‘seperate from sinners’ , especially if it is connected to ‘holy harmless and undefiled’ . But there are two options for this phrase. One is moral and qualatative. ‘Jesus is morally separated from sinners’, but the other is location, ‘Jesus is no longer in the sphere of sinners’. Since the first three words are adjectives, and the last two phrases participles, I reckon they should go together.
    That is ‘seperated from sinners’ and ‘exalted above the heavens’ go together. They are talking about ‘location’ , Jesus exaltation.
    None of this denies Jesus’ moral perfection. The question remains though, what does it mean for Jesus to be morally perfect.
    One view says Jesus must keep some distance from sinful humanity in order to remain morally perfect,
    the other says Jesus is morally perfect precisely because he identifies with a sinful humanity in order to redeem them.
    slight differences , but immensly important.
    Got to go, I’ll come back with more soon

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