To the natural or secular human, the image of a man crucified to death on a cross is totally non-related to anything pertinent to down-to-earth non-religious "sacrifice" or "atonement" "absolving" anyone's legal or constitutionally-questionable infractions -- whether that was whatever "sin" or misdoings or alleged anti-Roman sedition of the crucified Jesus Himself...in addition to or instead for the suggestions-and-advice-only corrections and benefit of others judgmentally accused of "sins" or misdoings or quasi-harmless illegal-shenanigan whatevers.
When they hear the phrase: "Christ died for our sins," they really do not have a self-enlightened clue as to what that really means and exactly involves.
Now, everyone (in their sane and sensible mind) knows that - at times - they themselves have done something that is "against the law" and that there are disruptive and discomfortable consequences the result of those misdoings. Such is true, for example, when having violated traffic rules and regulations involving such phenomena as "breaking" speed limits, "running" red stoplights at intersections, and so forth....concerning which watchful traffic cops make sure that the offending driver knows that they have "transgressed."
If there is any "sacrifice" for committing and not performing such vehicular-related misbehavior, it comes in the form of traffic-ticket penalties and/or mandatory court appearances in the presence of a judge who could even provide such debilitating "atonement" (for whoever's well-being) as confiscating Drivers License or requiring imprisonment of various durations not so much "for" but instead "against" the offender.
It is difficult for the natural or secular person to realize, understand, and especially believe that the Creator God has any active and interpersonal interest or interaction with whoever does whatever to whatever and particularly to whoever within the parameters of the created environment which He has deliberately placed those involuntarily-placed whoevers into.
Blades of grass, cumulus and cirrus clouds, rocks, waterfalls, and tree leaves do not have the Code of Hammarabi or Koran or any other religious text written on them - not even verses of Christian Scripture.
That is not to say that the impious have not encountered what they consider a joke about lightning striking someone in supposed Divine retaliation for something "wrong" done or said.
And they also readily admit that there are many anti-social words and physical actions they would not want others to do to them, and if others did such, there would be self-defensive or vengeful retaliation.
Thus, they reciprocally refrain from doing those hurtful words and actions themselves - as much as they are conditioned or subtly forced to do when thinking or under restraint and not in the careless or impetuously-impulsive moment when under non-asked-for duress or non-solicited temptation.
But, like in the case of traffic tickets issued and paid for by the offender, IF (to the natural or secular person) there is any actual concept of "sin" (relating to the Creator God involving anything or anyone within His environment which the natural or secular person was placed into without their prior permission in the first place), it takes something other than merely studying hidden drop-off cliffs with sharp rocks below, suddenly-falling trees, wee-morning tornadic winds, skin-burning sunlight, and poisonous-bite lower-lifeform living creatures to discover that...
...especially relating to whatever shame-and-guilt-laden "sacrifice" and "atonement" comes into play concerning all that.
So WHO concocted (or at least, "made up") the concept of "sin" (whether against inanimate or animate things of nature)?
What is all this about animal sacrifices being thought up and started involving payment or atonement or absolution against whatever "sin" is by killing livestock or birds or whatever...that, of course leading to the Ultimate "Animal Sacrifice" of Christ Jesus hanging on some cross around two thousand years ago over in far-way Israel "presumably" having the effect of cancelling the penalty of or "atoning" for whoever believes that "gospel" of such fatal crucifixion of one Man causing their imputed permanent sin atonement?
Alas, the first and best source of the origin of the word: "sin" is found in The Book (i.e. the Sacred-66-books Judeo-Christian Holy Bible):
Genesis 4:7 = If you [Cain] do ["well"], will you not be ["accepted"]? And if you do not do well, ["sin"] is crouching at the door; ["its"] ["desire"] is for you, but you must master ["it"].
The words: "well" and "accepted" and "sin" and "its" and "desire" might not readily be understood as to particulars by the secular humanist.
And when is the first time the word: "evil" found in The Good Book?
Genesis 2:9 = And out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the Tree of Life also in the center of The Garden, and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Genesis 2:17 = "...but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat, because in the day that you eat of it you shall die."
There's that word: "evil" again.
How about the first time the word: "sacrifice" is used in the Bible?
Genesis 31:54 = and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called his relatives to eat bread...
There is absolutely NO tying in the word: "sacrifice" nor "atonement" with the word: "sin" at this point in the Text. Perhaps "thanksgiving" is the sole intention there.
Again, note that the word: "sacrifice" above (WAY past the historical time of Adam and Eve, and even of Abraham and Isaac) in NO way specifically relates to or involves any mention or allusion to "sin" as to context immediately before and immediately after.
And when is the first time the word: "atonement" used in the entirety of Scripture?
Exodus 29:33 = They shall eat those things with which atonement was made, to ordain and consecrate them, but an outsider shall not eat of them, because they are holy.
Exodus 29:36 = ...and every day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement. Also you shall offer a sin offering for the altar, when you make atonement for it, and shall anoint it, to consecrate it.
Finally, the word: "atonement" is now related to the concepts of "consecrate" and "sin" "offering."
So THAT is where the concept of "sacrifice" and "atonement" for "sin" comes from!
Added to that is the blood of some sacrificed lamb obediently painted on the doorposts of exodus-intentioned Hebrews exiting Egypt for first-born-lifeform preservation at the first passover.
Is it any wonder, then, that the seemingly weird and/or wasteful Jewish or Hebrew concept of livestock killing for so-called "no-no" "oopsies" culminated in THE Ultimate "Animal Sacrifice" [of Jesus mortally murdered or executed or whatever on some Roman cross] for at least every qualified Jew's or Hebrew's sin eradication?
There is one word which has not yet been researched as to the first time it is used in the Bible, and that word is: "offering:"
Genesis 4:1 Now Adam "knew" Eve his "wife," and she conceived and bore Cain, saying: "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."
4:2 And again, she [Eve] bore his brother Abel.
4:3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,
4:4 and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,
4:5 but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
4:6 The LORD said to Cain: "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen?
4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it."
The historical-record news-report story continues on, letting us know that Cain killed his brother, with the LORD promising sevenfold retaliation against anyone who then killed murderer Cain -- NOT as a compromising exhibition of injust Divine leniency allowed for should-have-been-executed-by-God-for-homicide(?) Cain who seemingly "got away with murder" but (in absence of later-established Mosaic Law) inflicting Cain with exile "to the east" plus putting some "mark" on him to designate his alienated but protected status...with God's underlying intention to Cain and others reading the account that such hate-based murders must not be perpetuated.
Several points to note pertaining to the Genesis 4:1-7 passage posted above.
First, Eve - who had never before experienced pregnancy and childbirth -- attributed the startling and non-precedented accomplishment of the entire sexually-oriented phenomenon...to the LORD.
Second, Cain randomly chose the occupation of being a farmer, while Abel randomly chose the occupation of being a livestock herder. So is there any problem or fault with the choice of either type of occupation in the mind of God? Was Cain's offering a poor sample of field "fruit" whereas Abel chose the best of beasts for God? Is being a farmer an automatic sin, whereas being a flock herder the exact opposite?
The underlying answer to the above-stated question is revealed by the wicked response of Cain to the LORD, and the hateful motivation such was based upon.
To wit, it is obvious that Cain was irresponsibly comparing his self-righteous efforts to that of Abel without being authorized to, that Cain was offering (to the LORD but actually for himself) cultivated vegetation for the sake of selfish adulation, self-aggrandization...taking credit for crop growth which he rightfully should have not taken credit for -- while Abel was trying to please God - not himself - and giving God credit for livestock production which he by himself had no Divine control over.
First John 3:11 = This is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
First John 3:12 = not as Cain who was of the Wicked One and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous.
Being that as it is (NOT: "at any rate"), the animal-sacrifice precedent was set then and there -- out of which came the ritualistic (and inadequate!) animal sacrifices for sin leading up to the Ultimate Sacrifice for Atonement against sins achieved by Christ mortally dying on a cross:
Hebrews 10:1 The Law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the effectualization of those things, can never - with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year after year - make perfect those who approach.
10:2 if they had, would not they then have ceased to be offered -- being the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
10:4 It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
10:5 Therefore, when [Christ] came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
10:6 in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.
First Corinthians 5:7 ...Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed.
So, HOW does that bloody "Paschal Lamb" (i.e. Christ Jesus Himself) apply to us by proxy nowadays for imputed sin atonement attributed to us penitent persons here in America during 2017 and beyond?
Forget the "how" of it all - unless you want to belabor yourself in a tedious and exhaustive weeks-long doctoral dissertation of the intricacies of psychological/microbiological integration with philosophical/theological elaboration on the "how" of it all.
The simply-stated: "THAT" and not the extremely-complex: "HOW" is what is important:
Romans 5:9 ...having now been justified by His blood (i.e. sacrificially atoned for by HIS ONE-time-done-by-lethal-crucifixion sacrifice of HIMSELF), WE (not simply some ancient Romans but also their European and Scandinavian and Russian and American and British and asian offspring), shall be saved from Wrath through Him.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him (i.e. Christ Jesus) we have redemption through His blood (sacrificially shed for atonement against sins of and for believers by fatal crucifixion of Christ alone on a cross): the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
And, keeping what the Bible describes as "Hell" and its horrifying characteristics, how do we know that that precious atonement in FACT applies to US (here and now) rather than simply to some ancient Bible-times Romans and Ephesians and Thessalonicans and Galatians and Jews?
Regarding the Creator, who created everything around us in His benign environment so well suited to our survival but so dangerous at times because of our stupidity of not learning about and accommodating to whatever we should have already discovered and previously prepared for, how do we know that that then requires OUR 24/7-consistent-and-absolutely-perfect moral obedience to His inanimate and animate phenomena, procedures, and protocol of nature resulting in survival of the spiritually fittest?
Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood within the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;
23 because as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I tell you about, being that He gives to ALL life, breath, and all things.
26 And He has made from one blood every nation of humans [whites, blacks, asians] to reside on all the face of [planet] Earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28 because in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said: ‘We are also His offspring.’
29 Therefore, being that we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.
30 Truthfully, the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands ALL persons EVERYWHERE to repent,
31 because He has appointed a Day in which He will judge THE WORLD in righteousness by THE Man whom HE has ordained [NOT "self-appointed" NOR "self-righteous"]. He has given assurance of this to ALL by raising Him from the dead.”
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said: “We will hear you again on this matter.”
33 So Paul left them.
34 Some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Though we did not ask the Creator to be put on this watery globe before He put us here, we are now confined on His planet and dependent upon favorable planetary conditions which He obviously owns and is the jealous Caretaker of - manipulating everything of His around us within "our" bodies of His own, and now that we're stuck here (though not necessarily against our sometimes-appreciative free-will choice), it is up to us to make the best of it under the given circumstances (miserably surrounded and besieged by a Hades-destined immoral majority of rebellious, irreligious, and mindless warm-weather-immodest lunatics) and not enrage Him with ANY non-compliance, being adequately aware of the indescribable consequences not merely temporal but especially eternal.