Death of MessiahMost don’t feel the need to understand the inner workings of their car in order to drive. Most don’t look up electricity in an encyclopedia before they flip the light switch. How does it work? Simple; turn a key, flip a switch. Beyond that, it beats me. One doesn’t really need to know. That attitude often carries over regarding the death and resurrection of Christ. We know that it saves us, but as to how: who really knows? Throughout church history there have been a variety of explanations for exactly what Jesus did and exactly how it “works”, including Christus Victor and Penal Substitution. According to Michael Gorman, although the question of how is important, there remains the need for a model that focuses more on what Jesus’ death does for and to humanity than how it does it”, which is what “the New Testament is much more concerned about” (p5, emphasis mine). Gorman attempts to provide such a model in The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant: A (Not So) New Model of the Atonement.

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