This idea can have logic and great value even for an atheist.
Not that long ago I offered for some angry people to kick my head in, to prove a point about how men should treat women (i.e. don't bully them). (I guess they didn't have the heart to do it.)
Among the many interpretations which can be placed on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, we can say this:
Jesus went to his death willingly - in that he knew it was going to happen, and didn't run away, when he could have done - in order to prove and illustrate a point. That point was his life's work (well, the last 3 years'). One of his main lessons was that we can all be given the chance for our sins to be forgiven, provided we earn it and do the necessary real work involved. Provided we go to our Crucifixion willingly. If he can get himself crucified, we should be up to saying sorry and putting things right when we have to. We should be humble enough to suffer for what we have done. We should be humble enough to let something go instead of escalating to some kind of blood feud.
He also forgave the people who were crucifying him.
By dramatically illustrating the idea that God can forgive our sins, will always give us a second chance to make good: life became possible, life became good, life became fruitful. Instead of nasty, brutish and short. Hence the Resurrection.
I found this particularly insightful - the sound, unfortunately, is poor, headphones help:
I am punished for all eternity simply for not believing on pure faith, while all of humanities sins are forgiven for one man being punished for three days.
There is a good lesson here, life isn't fair, but if you believe us it doesn't matter.
@Joshua - I've come to see this message in the Crucifixion. If Jesus can forgive being crucified, then we should be able to find it in ourselves to try and forgive anything too. I'd even forgive Archaeopteryx. He knows not what he does.
He knows exactly what he does and to exactly whom he is doing it.
But he won't admit it.
Admit what? Be specific, if you know how. Quit pussy-footing around, stand up on your hind legs and say what you have to say, instead of skulking around, hinting at it.
@Archaeopteryx - this is what I said, specifically, within the last 3 hours, and which you replied to:
if I was to name the person whose private e-mail you quoted in public out of context in order to support your spat with me - that would be breaking confidence, as you well know.
You're always on my case, everywhere I turn.
If you're saying I quoted someone's private email, I'm not clear if this alleged email was addressed to me or to you. If to you, how would I have accessed it? If to me, were it private, how would you know what it said? Sadly, you make no sense, but then I've never known you to do so.
If it was a "private email," then depending on to whom it was sent, one of us should have no knowledge of it - which of us would that be?
@Archaeopteryx - I also said, specifically:
if someone was accusing me of something I hadn't done, I'd be on it in seconds with an explicit rebuttal.
You remind me of a chihuahua, nipping at the heels of a grizzly, a mild annoyance, but nothing to be alarmed about. If you were that someone, what you say wouldn't matter enough to me to even lift a finger, one just considers the source --
It seems significantly not about sensibility. I was of the impression that Christ was about perfecting the human 'soul', sadly the outcome was about finding a proxy, Christ, to get us off the hook.