My goal in this short essay is not to deny the idea that Jesus procured some immediate thing with his atonement. However, I do want to push back against what I believe is an extremely harmful notion many hold in regard to the death of Jesus - the notion that his death absolutely had to procure something in order to be worthwhile. Some Christians understandably want to protect the importance of Jesus and his work, and they believe that a theology such as the Moral Influence Theory of the atonement undermines the work of Jesus. This MIT declares that Jesus didn't owe Satan or God anything, but died only as a positive example for future Christians. Such a notion is abhorrent to many Christians today who believe that the MIT would take away the power, importance, and necessity of Jesus's work.
While I don't adhere to the Moral Influence Theory alone, I do think that moral influence is an extremely important part of the work of Jesus. Unfortunately, because so many Christians want to protect one facet of the atonement which they think is central, they are willing to pendulum swing and deny the importance of the moral example Jesus was setting for us in his work of cross. It is my goal in the rest of this piece convince you of the importance of holding moral influence as one vital facet of your atonement theology.