There are striking connections between this metaphorical reading of “Jesus died for our sins” and Jesus himself. In his teaching and actions, Jesus affirmed the immediacy of access to God, apart from any institutional monopoly and apart from the categories of pure and impure. For this emphasis, see especially John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (1991), and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (1994); and my Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994), all published by HarperSanFrancisco.