The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is a central event in the Christian gospel narrative, so it makes sense that theologians have debated what the meaning of the cross for centuries.
Among Western Protestants. the dominant view is that the cross is the place where God sacrificed God’s son to satisfy God’s wrath, which was burning against human sin.
This view–known as “penal substitutionary atonement”–is so popular in the West that many may assume that all Christians accept it. But they do not. Other explanations exist that are equally rooted in scripture but do not present God as an harsh diety who requires blood to appease his anger.
To explore this further, I invited pastor Brian Zahnd to join me on my “Seekers and Speakers” podcast. He is one of my favorite thinkers and author of the fantastic book, “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News.”