If Jesus did not die for the sins of man and there is no eternal punishment, what then was the message of Jesus and what explains how he became the most revered and famous person in the history of mankind?
Jesus made an indescribably moving and loving decision to bring light into a world of darkness because it was wallowing in despair having strayed far from love. He taught love, non-judgment, peace and total acceptance in a most striking, overwhelming, astonishing and unforgettable manner to bring most all to their knees in respect and reverence. While he endured their intentional pain, mocking and ridicule, he lovingly looked on them and uttered his dying words, “Farther forgive them”. Never before or since has unconditional love been demonstrated so profoundly, so remarkably, so unforgettably or with so much personal sacrifice. It was the overwhelming magnificence of this man that caused the Roman Centurion and the thief on the other cross to immediately crumble and become Jesus followers, and countless more since and emblazoned his story in the history of mankind.
Yet the church has since robbed him of the glory by replacing unconditional love with fear. First of all, they deny that he truly forgave those who rejected him which would disallow their belief that you must accept Jesus for salvation. This was not a horrific act the Father was requiring for the salvation of mankind, which makes the volunteering of Jesus greatly more magnificent. Their distortion of the message from the voluntary example of unconditional love, to a God required sacrifice, not only disavows unconditional love with conditions but replaces freedom with coercion. Unconditional love accepts all while conditions introduce fear, i.e., which religion or belief is best, I must make others aware, will all my loved ones make it, how can Heaven be blissful while I’m aware the many who are suffering forever with no hope of escape, am I doing enough, etc. To declare that you have free choice but choosing the wrong one results in terrible suffering, implies coercion, not freedom.
If the religions would cast aside their doctrines and simply follow the example of Jesus in non-judgment and love for all, such would totally fulfill the whole of God’s wishes for mankind. The Good News is that we keep living additional lives (easy to prove) until we finally get it right and no one is excluded. So, yes Jesus is our salvation to spiritual advancement from physicality by showing us that love, not belief, ritual or good deeds is the answer. Good deeds just happen when love happens. Yes, one can advance being religious if loving, but love is all that matters.