until a god appears as thy substitute in torment, ready to descend for thee into the unillumined realm of Hades and the dark abyss of Tartarus.? And this is done by Chiron, the wisest and most just of the Centaurs, the son of Chronos, sacrificing himself for Prometheus, while Hercules kills the eagle at his breast and so delivers him from torment. This legend of ^schylus is almost a prediction of the true Redeemer. See article on Sacrifice, by Paterson, in Hastings, Bible Dictionary.
Westcott, Hebrews, 282, maintains that the idea of expiatory offerings, answering to the consciousness of sin, does not belong to the early religion of Greece. We reply that Homer?s Iliad, in its first book, describes just such an expiatory offering made to Phubus Apollo, so turning away his wrath and causing the plague that wastes the Greeks to cease. E. G. Robinson held that there is ?no evidence that the Jews had any idea of the efficacy of sacrifice for the expiation of moral guilt.? But in approaching either the tabernacle or the temple the altar always presented itself before the layer. H. Clay Trumbull, S. S. Times, Nov. 30, 1901:801 ? ?The Passover was not a passing by of the houses of Israelites but a passing over or crossing over by Jehovah to enter the homes of those who would welcome him and who had entered into covenant with him by sacrifice. The Oriental sovereign was accompanied by his executioner, who entered to smite the firstborn of the house only when there was no covenanting at the door.? We regard this explanation as substituting an incidental result and effect of sacrifice for the sacrifice itself. This always had in it the idea of reparation for wrongdoing by substitutive suffering.
Curtis. Primitive Semitic Religion of Today, on the Significance of Sacrifice, 218-237, tells us that he went to Palestine prepossessed by Robertson Smith?s explanation that sacrifice was a feast symbolizing friendly communion between man and his God. He came to the conclusion that the sacrificial meal was not the primary element but that there was a substitutive value in the offering. Gift and feast are not excluded but these are sequences and incidentals. Misfortune is evidence of sin; sin needs to be expiated; the anger of God needs to be removed. The sacrifice consisted principally in the shedding of the blood of the victim. The ?bursting forth of the blood? satisfied and bought off the Deity. George Adam Smith on Isaiah 53 (2:361) ? ?Innocent as he is, he gives his life as a satisfaction to the divine law for the guilt of his people. His death was no mere martyrdom or miscarriage of human justice. In God?s intent and purpose, but also by its own voluntary offering, it was an expiatory sacrifice. There is no exegete but agrees to this. 353 ? The substitution of the servant of Jehovah for the guilty people and the redemptive force of that substitution are no arbitrary doctrine.?
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