Thanks for the answers, but you probably misundesrtood the first question a little bit, I didn't notice how ambiguous it was really. I thought only this theory of salvation was held: and my intention was to ask why couldn't God just let us go without sacrificing anyone? I mean, he's omnipotent and benevolent, he made the rules, why must he retaliate our sins to someone? If I think about humane forgiveness, revenge isn't integral part of it (but usually understood rather as opposite of it (though actions has nothing to do with forgiving, I think)). On the other hand revenging to someone else than sinner doesn't sound justice to me. It would imply that God wouldn't care about justice, but only about revenge. Perhaps one could say that whole idea of justice is revenge or equal amounts of suffering, but it wouldn't explain this scapegoat-thing. Unless God would be interested only about the total amount of suffering. Thats what I'm puzzled about: If the above mentioned is the explanation to why Christ had to die (and at least to lutherians it seems to be), then what's the explanation of God's blind hate? Now this Abelards answer sounds very good, not only because it is reasonable, but also because it's true. I don't even believe in God, and still the example of Jesus has saved my life! I just don't understand the death part: If he was only to show example, he died for no one, how is that a sacrifice? Or did Abelard think that the death was to only show how comitted he was to show the example? Well maybe it's there just to give us impression that life isn't that bad. There are many people who think life is hell allready, and even more people who are in a threat to start to think that way. Wouldn't it make sense then that there are just as much goodness as it's necessary to prevent the majority of mankind thinking that way. One more question: Wasn't there some sect that tought that the God of Old Testament was really malevolent, and Jesus was sent here from a good God to save us? When I think about those answers you gave, many of them seemd to have common element of Jesus scheming to betray God in oder to save us. (It was btw coincidence that my first questions relate to each others this way, I'm not pushing any agenda here, I'm not religious at all).