Abstract

This article contends that John portrays not only Jesus’s death but his entire progression to the Father (that is, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension) sacrificially. Discussions of Jesus’s sacrifice in John have tended to focus on Jesus’s death. Such an emphasis on death, however, coheres neither with the way John presents Jesus’s crucifixion and ascension as a singular action nor with how most ancient persons understood ritual sacrifice. It is more likely that John and his ancient audiences would have been attuned to the sacrificial connotations not only of Jesus’s death but of his arrest, trial, burial, resurrection, and ascension. By adjusting the hermeneutical category of sacrifice to agree with ancient understandings of the ritual act and its instantiations on Yom Kippur and Passover, this article traces the sacrificial logic running through John’s passion and resurrection narratives. It then concludes by demonstrating the significant social and theological implications of Jesus’s sacrifice in the Gospel of John.

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