Here is a quote from Uta Ranke-Heinemann's book Putting Away Childish Things:
It is true, Jesus was killed. But not by his Father, who supposedly sent his only Son to his death and sacrificed him. Neither is God reconciled by this death, nor are we redeemed by it. Jesus was murdered by men. A person who lives in solidarity with all the poor and dependent--in this sense Good Friday means remembering someone who sympathized with everyone--will be seen by many people as siding with the enemy. And so in the world of murderers that we live in, a person like Jesus was placing his life at risk.
Redeemed from what, actually? Redeemed from more murders? That would be something, at any rate. But who is redeemed from murder by murder? And the murdering went further: It was for God, with God, in the name of God. Neither does murder redeem, nor does anyone's suffering, in itself, make other people better. There is no salvation through death....
...The Christian view that he died for others' sins creates new problems. It is not in fact the case that God's anger fell on Jesus vicariously instead of on us, and that he died vicariously for our sins, as we are always being told. Jesus never died for but simply because of the sins of human beings.
In the effort to give Jesus' death a meaning, one can only produce nonsense. This comes from trying to justify a murder that can't be justified, since no murder can ever be justified. Invoking God and God's will can't straighten out human crimes. Christians shouldn't glorify a gallows. They should sensitize themselves to the terror of the death penalty, of war, of violence, of torture, of military retaliation. Since they can no longer prevent the murder of Christ, they should at least not consent to it after the fact. And, not least of all for the sake of Christ's death, they should not consent to the violent death of any person in the world. So far as they can, they should prevent every such death.