MembersCunning as Serpents 

Day of Atonement and the Suspension of Justice – Part III

By Tsvi Sadan |
Photo: Creative Commons

This final part of Cunning as Serpents series dealing with the need to suspend moral behavior in unique situations looks at the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) as a divine act of immorality. Difficult as it may sound, Jesus’ death should serve as a reminder of the innocent paying the price for crimes they didn’t commit. By the accepted moral codes of any given society, Jesus’ death penalty was unjust, and yet, the New Testament insists that it was divinely ordained.


Challenging God’s morality is nothing new, and people have struggled with it from time immemorial. Job, for one, never understood God’s sense of morality, and neither did the unknown author of the Book of Job. The same could be said about Paul who decided to trust in a God whose actions seemed at times to contradict benevolence. Echoing Isaiah 45:9, the apostle humbly acknowledges that God’s sense of justice is simply beyond his comprehension (Romans 9:20).


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