THE DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT
If asked the question, what is this doctrine and what does it mean to me? What would your answer be? How important is this doctrine?
This doctrine is so important to the believer in Jesus Christ without it Christianity is a mere fallacy. The Atonement brings the Old and New Testaments together forming a single strand throughout our Bibles. Without a blood Atonement Christianity is just another religion.
One definition of the word atonement is the making amends; it is penitence, expiation or apology. To atone is to make up for a misdeed or to be in harmony. These are secular definitions. In Christianity the word simply means to gain reconciliation with God. Atonement is the covering of sin through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Atonement is linked with the Jewish holiday Yom Kipper and the Passover feast.
Hebrews 9:22, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”, (KJV). Atonement comes by a blood sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. Once per year the high priest would bring into the Holy of Holies the blood of a perfect, spotless lamb and spread on the Mercy Seat. This would cover the sins of the Hebrew people for the past year. The Mercy Seat was within the temple’s most holy place along with the Ark of the Covenant. The remission of sin was complete and reconciliation with God was made. The blood sacrifice was necessary to fulfill the requirements God had placed for reconciliation. Atonement with God amends the penalty of sin.
Without giving a full explanation of sin and its consequences read Romans, chapter five. Sin entered the world through Adam. God cannot tolerate sin and must judge it with a punishment. The curse of sin and death follows mankind forever in its natural state. God supplies the recompense through His son Jesus. Jesus Christ is the only path to reconciliation with God, Acts 4:12.
Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” and salvation comes to mankind as a gift from God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus.
Good works, reformation, or being kind cannot get you to heaven and eternal life. The way is explained in John 3:16. Jesus is the way and our atonement. He was the sacrifice that did away with the curse of the Law.
For some reason “blood” is a subject rarely spoken of. The issue of a blood sacrifice is one that somehow offends some people. A blood sacrifice is necessary for the remission of sin, Hebrews 9:22.Avoiding this issue is like avoiding an infection that is spreading.
Let’s look at the facts. God punished Adam for disobedience. He placed a curse on mankind (death and sin); in our natural bodies there is the mark of sin and physical death. God gave a temporary way of forgiveness through the sprinkling of blood once per year of the unblemished lamb upon the mercy Seat. God loves His creation (John 3:16) so He gave a gift to mankind, the perfect sacrifice that would be permanent. Jesus, born of a virgin, the God/man sinless would take upon Himself, the sin of the world. He would rise from death and be within those who receive Him, by faith as their savior (Ephesians 2:8).
More facts: The death of Christ is mentioned over 175 times in the New Testament.
Jesus became a man for one purpose, Hebrews 2:14.
God, the Father foreordained the death of His Son.
His transfiguration was recorded in history.
He is the perfect sacrifice and His blood, being God made Him the unblemished Lamb of God.
His blood would cover sin (atone) and He will sit on the mercy seat in judgment. Those written in His Book of Life will be saved forever, those not in the Book will suffer everlasting removal.
A new song will be sung in heaven, Revelation 5; “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”
Atonement and its purpose is described throughout the Old and New Testaments:
It was a vicarious, substitution death, Isaiah 53:5.
The removal of sin is permanent, 1 Peter 3:18.
He was the ransom (payment for sin (Redemption), Matthew 20:28.
He was God’s offering for sin, Isaiah 53:10.
He was our propitiation, 1 John 4:10, 2:2.
He was the Passover sacrifice, 1 Corinthians 5:7.
We live because He rose, 1 Corinthians 15:22.
All of the above-mentioned facts define Atonement, those of the Old Testament (temporary) and those of the New Testament (permanent). Our hope is based on God’s love. The old Hymn tells the story; “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.”
All of our doctrinal principles are wrapped up in this one theology, that is Atonement, Redemption, Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Sanctification. Justification comes through Atonement, Romans 5:9.
There is only one way to find peace with God. Jesus is the way. The death at Calvary brought the cleansing blood that covers all sin. You are forgiven of all sin because Jesus atoned for your sins. If and when you sin after salvation (Romans 6-8) He has given you the way of cleansing, 1 John 1:9.