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Evidently you don’t think this is a problem, nor, in your version of things that God should punish an innocent human being as a human sacrifice to fulfil his redemptive purposes.

It’s not a question of whether I think it’s a problem. It’s a question of whether I think it’s in the text. Also, I made what to my mind is an important distinction in the previous comment: “This does not mean that God deliberately punished Jesus, but if the Jews’ suffering was punishment for their sin, Jesus’ suffering was punishment for their sin.”

1. What was unique about Jesus’ death was i) that he was the Son sent to Israel, and ii) that God raised him on the third day.

2. I thought I’d said that all along.

3. I didn’t mention the “ransom” from Egypt because that’s another metaphorical use of the term. I’m not defending “penal substitution” as a theoretical account of the atonement. But violent punishment is unquestionably part of the Gospel story. What Jesus suffered anticipated or foreshadowed the punishment of Israel.

4. Your comments on the difference between the two vineyard parables seem pretty arbitrary to me. The story is obviously different because different historical moments are in view, and Jesus targets the leaders in particular. But formally it’s hard to see how one is an allegory and the other a folk tale.

5. Punishment is an integral part of the old covenant. It’s hardly surprising that it appears in the New Testament as part of Israel’s end-game. Have a look at Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9. Or Paul’s argument in Romans 9:19-22:

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…

6. The “wrath” of God is associated with judgment on Jerusalem at Matthew 3:7 // Luke 3:7 and Luke 21:23: “For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.” Of course, Jesus death was regarded as a victory over evil, satan and death, but that hardly precludes the very Jewish thought that—in very historical terms—his suffering preempted the punishment of Israel. Significantly, people tend not to find the Christus Victor idea in the Synoptic Gospels.

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