Was it not necessary?

"Was it not necessary (ἔδει)that Messiah should suffer?" —Luke 24:26

In the incarnation of Jesus, God took on flesh and dwelt among us as a human being. Other human beings slaughtered him, and thus we refer to him as "the Lamb of God." When we use a theology that says "it was necessary," we are ignoring the large systems of human violence done every day to other innocent human beings. Often, this violence is even done in the name of justice. This kind of “it was necessary” theology supports systems of violent domination.

If, however, God had taken on the flesh of an actual lamb, a vulnerable young sheep without a voice of her own to ask for clemency, without the capacity to rebuke us when we transgress against her, even without the agency to repay us for our kindness toward her, perhaps we would have seen a bit clearer the truth of the evil that brought about the death of God. We would know then that the death of the Prophet, the crucifixion of Christ, the slaughtering of the Lamb, is not *necessary* given the character of God; it is, however, *inevitable* given the character of our human systems of Domination.

"Was it not necessary (ἔδει) that Messiah should suffer?"
No! It was, however, inevitable (ἔδει).

For More Reading:

1. Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (St. Martin’s Press: New York, 2002).