Why was the crucifixion a sacrifice?
Jesus was man and God in one. Did the God part of him know what was in store for him? If he knew how the crucifixion was going to pan out – how much of a sacrifice was it? Wouldn’t most people do the same as Jesus if they knew the future?
Jesus knew he was God:
“Very truly I tell you, . . . before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)
“Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (John 17:5).
If he knew he was God, then he had absolute knowledge. And if he had absolute knowledge then he knew that he would die and be raised again to ascend to heaven to be by the right hand of the father forever. A fabulous reward. Jesus suffered for a few hours on the cross, then depending on your theology he spent a few days in hell and after that he was in paradise raised to the highest position.
I don’t see this as a sacrifice. As sacrifice is giving something up. Jesus didn’t give up anything. In fact his suffering wasn’t even that great, compared to many people around the world on a daily basis, who suffer constantly. And many of those people will suffer for most of their lives and, not knowing salvation, will go to hell (or annihilation).
How was it a sacrifice? Let me know what you think in the comments or email – firstname.lastname@example.org