Jesus was already preaching the forgiveness of sins and forgiving sins before he died. He did not have to wait until after the resurrection to do that. Blood is not acceptable to God as a means of uniting human community or a price for God’s favor. Christ sheds his own blood to end that way of trying to mend our divisions. Jesus’ death isn’t necessary because God has to have innocent blood to solve the guilt equation. Redemptive violence is our equation. Jesus didn’t volunteer to get into God’s justice machine. God volunteered to get into ours. God used our own sin to save us.
The Bible isn’t just a potpourri of pithy sayings from which we can pick up a nugget here and a nugget there. No, it’s a grand, sweeping, world-encompassing story that traces the history of God’s dealings with mankind from very beginning to very end. If we really want to understand what God is doing and what he would have us to do as his people, we need to have a good grasp of what that story is, what its main themes are, what the problem is, what God’s remedy to the problem is, and what it all looks like when the story ends.
In Him He has from eternity bound Himself to each, to all. Along the entire line it holds, from the creatureliness of man, through the misery of man, to the glory promised to man.
—Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline (via invisibleforeigner)