Jesus: Possibly Acceptable Child Sacrifice
I have previously written that Jesus was an Unacceptable Sacrifice -- nothing about Jesus' death even remotely resembled the requirements for an acceptable sacrifice as written in the Old Testament. Jesus was not killed by Jewish priest, wearing the proper vestments, and his entrails were not burned on the altar, to name just a few.
For the sake of argument, however, let us grant the possibility that Jesus' death at the hands of the pagan soldiers counted as an acceptable sacrifice to the Hebrew God.
What, specifically, were the requirements for an acceptable sacrifice? The point that seems hammered home time and again is that the sacrifice has to be blemish-free or sinless in Jesus' case. Anything else be required?
Consider that in the Gospel of Matthew (and only in the Gospel of Matthew), Herod allegedly has all the infant and toddler males killed in and around Bethlehem.
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him."
Why did Jesus run away? If He was killed when he was 2 or younger, He was definitely as sin-free as He would be 30 years later. Wouldn't killing 2 year old Jesus have fulfilled all sacrifice requirements?
I've actually asked this question to several Christians, and invariably, so far, I get a response that says, "But, a major part of Jesus' coming to earth was His Gospel -- to teach his followers, etc... And, if He was killed when He was 2, He would not have been able to fulfill the prophecy of riding on a donkey into J-town, among others!"
Setting aside the argument that Jesus did not teach anything new (Jesus: Unoriginal Moral Thinker), this response baffles me to no end. Apparently (so I'm told), the amazing part of Jesus' death is that He comes back to life. Although this calls into question what the sacrifice actually was, (is it a sacrifice if you get to take it back?), dead 2 year old Jesus comes back to life and can lead an interesting and fulfilling life for as long as He wants.
He can ride a donkey into Jerusalem. He can give His sermon on the mount -- and think of the credibility factor He would already have going for Him. "Hey, isn't that the guy who came back to life after being killed with He was 2?"
The intent of this article is to promote a discussion -- not to argue a definitive case. An illustration like this can help both a non-Christian and a Christian clarify his or her ideas on the requirements for Jesus' vicarious sacrifice. If a person thinks that Jesus' sacrifice is valid, why was it imperative for Herod not to be successful at killing Jesus when He was a toddler? Good luck with your own conversations.