"Jesus died for you, man!"
That's a phrase you'll hear all the time from Christian proselytizers (by the way, since my small town sits in the 'Bible Belt' of the southern U.S., I will most often be writing about the nation's leading religion: Christianity. Please understand that most, if not all, of my claims against a belief in supernatural entities can freely be applied to any religion. If you don't see how, send me an email and let me know!)
Not only is this phrase an "appeal to emotion", an attempt to make the listener feel bad, but it also makes no sense. That's right, I said it: It makes no sense.
Think about it. I'll using the standard Christian beliefs as a framework, and this is very important -- this is from their own belief structure. Jesus is God...and is his son (I know, it's crazy). God created the world like it is. Don't try to tell me that it was Adam and Eve's fall that made the world like it is, because a) God created Adam and Eve, and b) he *knew* it was going to happen even before he started the whole 7-day creation. God has everything the way it needs to be according to his 'plan' or else it wouldn't be as it is. That's what omnipotent means. Therefore, in order to save humanity from hell (which he too, made), God sends his son Jesus (himself) as a sacrifice (to himself) to save humanity from torture (from himself). Not only that, but he waited for thousands of years to do it!
Your head stopped spinning yet?
Now that we have this kooky structure established, we can answer the basic question. What exactly did Jesus give up? He came to earth, died for a long weekend, then got to be God again and judge humanity for the rest of eternity! Who wouldn't want that? Christians, you sing it yourself: "He's alive!" What did he sacrifice? Even if he died for two weeks, he still came back to life. What kind of sacrifice is that?
Christians will try to hem and haw their way out of this bug-nutty story, but it's the foundation of their very religion. They'll say something like: "Jesus died so that we could all live." Again, what about those before Jesus? And why does God have to have some psychotic way of fixing a problem (which an omnipotent creator shouldn't have in the first place), when he could just, oh I don't know, LET IT GO? He could just snap is wrinkly, Caucasian fingers and forget the whole thing. He supposedly made us this way, how could he not know, and how could there be a problem in the first place?
The end result is that he gets to go right back up to heaven and send people to hell, and we're left with an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God framing his own lesser creation.
What a dick.
Good thing the whole story's not real, or we might need to start picketing. There's plenty more absurdities with trying to conceptualize an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent "being" in the first place, let alone the thousands of contradictions and ridiculous claims within the religion and texts of Western Christianity, which I'll get to in good time.