Forgiveness and the genesis of religion

I wonder if the greatest revolution in the history of religions is not in this order that Jesus, in the continuity of the prophets, these colossal figures of history, puts in the mouth of God: “Go and learn what it means: “I don’t want sacrifices, I want justice and mercy.”

As a matter of principle, in the different religions, one of the essential components is precisely the sacrifice to be offered to the divinity. And lambs, calves, oxen, doves, goats are slaughtered. Even humans were sacrificed. Who does not remember the terror of Isaac, the boy carrying the firewood of sacrifice, not knowing that the victim was himself? Also on principle, only priests can offer sacrifices. Some say that at the time of Jesus, some 20,000 priests and Levites served in the temple in Jerusalem – the Levites were a lower order of clerics, who assisted the priests in various services, such as the presentation of animals and wood for the altar. Although historians today agree that this is an inflated number, Flavius ​​Josephus wrote that during a Passover in Jerusalem 255,600 lambs were slaughtered. Considering the blood which flowed in the middle of the heat, one understands the strong expression of the prophet, when he makes God say that it is a stench which rises to heaven.

Jesus came to proclaim that God is good, that he is fed up with sacrifices, and the confrontation with the Jewish priesthood was one of the reasons for his crucifixion. God is love. If there is a definition of God, it can only consist of the action of loving: God is he who loves. God is on the side of Humanity. God did not create for his greatest honor and glory, but for the joy and fulfillment of men, women, young people and children. God is Father/Mother and only wants everyone’s happiness. God is not angry with Humanity. Therefore, he does not need to be appeased by sacrifices.

The revolution is therefore this: men and women do not have to be afraid of God. Now, if they don’t need to be afraid, they are free and not slaves. So, freed from fear, do not be afraid. Because there are no illusions: those who are afraid are afraid. We must be afraid of those who are afraid: as paradoxical as it may seem, fear unleashes all forms of violence.

That Jesus’ rejection of sacrifices constituted a revolution is also proved by the fact that, starting from allusions already present in the New Testament, a sacrificial interpretation was given to the death of Jesus: that death was the payment to God of the debt contracted by Humanity towards the sins of the first humans. The offense committed against God was infinite, and therefore the reparation must also be infinite. For this reason, God did not spare his own Son: his bloody death was necessary to appease God in his anger and for God to be reconciled with Humanity.

This is how God-love once again becomes the bloodthirsty and barbarous God-Moloch. But, if God is sadistic and demands blood, men can do the same – and there is religion as the legitimator of so much bloodshed and so much violence committed, always. Today, there is an unjust invasion with a hideous, brutal, tortuous war which does not spare civilians, women or children, which throws corpses into mass graves, which humiliates the UN, which does not fear the danger of nuclear war, with the threat of the end of Mankind itself, and it is an invasion and a war provoked by those who claim to be Christians, supported by their religious leader, against Christians…

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