The Cross

So I have heard from people that the Jesus died to satisfy the wrath of God. This does not seem to be quite the Orthodox teaching, but I am not 100% sure and to want to make sure I am not getting confused by different doctrines I hear. Can someone please help me clarify this?


  • No, He did not die to satisfy the wrath of God.  This is a Protestant teaching.  It is written "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son".  It is NOT written "For God was so despised the world that He gave His only begotten Son".

    Some verses have been used to show that Christ saved people from wrath.  But "wrath" does not mean God was wrathful to us, but wrathful to sin, or the condition of sin by which we fall into.  But to us, He is Love, not wrathful.  Our choices to live in the condition of sin leads to wrath, but our condition of death that comes from sin, God was lead by compassion and love to send His Son to save you from that condition, and to take you away from sin.

    It is like a child who falls into the pit.  The father of that child is angry at the pit, at the depth of the pit, but the child in the pit needs saving, and he will send His son to jump into the deepest part of that dirty and painful pit to save that child and keep that child safe.  But if the child continues to jump back into the pit, the child risks jumping into the wrath that God has for that pit.  That wrath NEVER goes away, and it is NEVER satisfied until the pit is destroyed.

    But God does not send His son to satisfy His wrath.  God sends His Son to satisfy His love for mankind.  God is always wrathful at sin, regardless of whether His Son was sent or not, because it is a condition contrary to His will and His love.  But He never stops loving mankind, no matter what happens.  He continues to knock on man's door of his heart seeking to save man always from the pit.
  • That's what I thought. Something always seemed wrong to me when I heard that, but I know I am still learning, and can be wrong myself, so thank you for your help. If I may ask a further related question, in response to the question of why the Cross was necessary (as opposed to God just declaring His forgiveness) I have often brought up the need for death to have been conquered and that could only be done by Christ, the Incarnate God. Is this a correct explanation, or should I be modifying my answer?
  • Christ as a warrior against death did not choose a comfortable death, but the most uncomfortable, most shameful, most painful form of death, to show that even such debasing death He destroys, and even the depths of Hades He destroys.  St. John Chrysostom describes this moment like a dragon swallowing food, thinking it's over by then, only to find itself exploding through its insides.

    Christ also gives the Cross the central icon of our lives.  The Cross is where is throne is, and as Christians, if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God, we must sit at the seat of the Cross and accept our vocation of suffering in this world as our glory.  We must bear the Cross at all costs.
  • So it was both to conquer death and to demonstrate his absolute power over death, even in its worst form?
  • Yes, and also to show us the way of true Christian living, only through the "boasting" in the Cross, and nothing else, to bear the Cross in our lives in absolute humility and acceptance of suffering.
  • I understand. Thank you! :)
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