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Sacrifice and the Death of Christ

Atonement offering
Illustration by Denise Klitsie. 
Schmiechen cover
Peter Schmiechen
Saving Power: Theories of Atonement and Forms of the Church
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005)

Schmiechen sketches ten primary images or metaphors  that are used in the New Testament and in the tradition to describe the meaning of Jesus’ career. These are sacrifice; justification by grace; penal substitution; liberation from sin, death, and demonic powers; renewal of creation; restoration of creation; Christ the goal of creation; Christ the way of the knowledge of God; Christ the reconciler; and the wondrous love of God. Schmiechen is convinced that all of these images share a common feature: each testifies to a way in which human beings have experienced the message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as having “saving power.”. . .