Nothing but curious amusement strikes me when I hear once again of atheists demanding to pay the full price of their own sins. Goofs like Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens are offended by the unfairness of being able to off-load the guilt that is clearly theirs, onto an innocent scape-goat - Jesus.
Of course, as atheists, these men and others like them are denied the deeper and profound meaning as Christ confronts what we cannot confront and endures on our behalf what we cannot endure. None of us, and this is true to several orders of magnitude for atheists can comprehend the depths of our sin because we cannot bear the truth. The spiritual darkness in which we live is such that the light of God’s righteousness is painfully blinding. That is why Jesus did what He did on our behalf.
When atheists look at this event they don’t see the offer of a lifetime -
“Accept My love and you’ll receive eternity in Paradise.”
Atheists look at this and because their minds are already determined to reject God and His forgiveness and His freedom they can only hear,
“Accept my love or burn in hell.”
Here is what makes the atheist position seem so childlike in it’s understanding of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, and in it’s reaction to that understanding. First, the atheist, full of bluff and bluster rants at the offer of forgiveness. “We are the ones who have committed the crime and we are the ones who should suffer the consequences.” Then, when God responds with a sorrowful, “Then you shall indeed bear the cost of your sins,” the atheist roars back at how monstrous a thing is that proposition.
Atheists seem a wee bit out of the loop on this count. You see this isn’t a case of Jesus doing for us what we should be doing ourselves. Jesus is in fact doing for us what we CANNOT do for ourselves. We have destroyed a relationship that can only be healed by the other partner in the relationship. It’s a bit like a five year old breaking a window and the atheist next door saying, “Well, you’ve broken it. Now it’s up to you to fix it.” Yes the child broke it but it’s the Father who will have to bear the cost of fixing it for the child holds no such ability or resources on h/her own.