Jesus' Sacrificial Death
It is our Christian belief that Jesus died for our sins, that is: that his death was the highest expression of his love. The whole of Jesus life was a gift of love to the Father, and this sacrifice would have fully redeemed us, even if Jesus had not shed a drop of blood.
In the early Middle Ages a more violent theology arose, the medieval satisfaction theory. This theory stated that the forgiveness of sins required a bloody sacrifice and that therefore God the Father himself demanded that his Son should die a bloody sacrificial death.
This view is not correct and is no longer accepted by the Church. To understand why it is not correct, read the following documents:
- Did God want to see Blood?
a refutation of the medieval satisfaction theory based on St. Johns Gospel.
- Did God demand bloody satisfaction?
a reflection on the Old Testament background and on psychological implications.
- Is God a Dictator?
putting the whole discussion within the wider perspective of how God deals with people.
Understanding the medieval satisfaction theory has relevance to Mariology. Since some theologians believed God had decreed Jesus sacrificial death by an absolute decree, they were convinced that Jesus sacrificial death was Gods absolute will. Mary, being in total accord with Gods will, was therefore believed to have also wanted Jesus bloody death. This explains some strange expressions about Mary, e.g. that she would, if necessary, have nailed Jesus to the cross with her own hands, and-so-on. The same applied to priestly spirituality. Priests too were expected to interiorly agree with God's demand for Jesus suffering!
The point in our research about the ordination of women is that throughout the ages theologians and spiritual writers saw Mary actively involved in Jesus' sacrificial death, as an officiating priest.
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