The Atonement Of Christ
Shoreline Community Church
Jerry A Collins
®What is the meaning of Atonement?
®Who was the atonement meant for?
®How does Christ make an atonement?
We all know what it means to be out of someoneís favor. It could be a parent, teacher, coach, spouse or friendship. It brings with it, itís own set of consequences. I donít like being out of someoneís favor. It does not mean that I can always do something about it either. Easter is a perpetual reminder of our being out of Godís favor because of sin. At the very heart of Christianity is the significant need for ATONEMENT. It is expressed in a passage like 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 which says, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for sins according to the Scriptures, And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
To atone for something means to make amends. It suggests the idea of at-one-ment because this word is used to refer to the atoning work of Christ thru which the sinner is reconciled to God, restored to His favor. God decreed that blood was essential for sinful man to be restored and at one with God. For instance, people were to bring a sin offering, an innocent animal to be sacrificed whose blood was brot in to make atonement Lev 16:27. In Lev 17:11 God said ...for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul and in Hebrews 9:22 without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Easter is the celebration of how the death of Christ and the shedding of His blood and His resurrection atones for manís sin once and for all.
WHY IS IT NEEDED?
What motivated the death of Jesus Christ? Was he more than just a helpless martyr?
(1) Sin made this at-one-ment necessary. Christ became a man that He mite die for human sin. It is sin which made the Cross a must in the experience of Godís Son. Lest you think you are not at fault God Himself bears witness that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God Romans 3:23. As a result, God has decreed from the very beginning that death must follow sin both physically, the separation of the soul & spirit from the body and spiritually, the eternal separation of the whole man from God (Gen 2:16-17; Rom 6:23).
(2) The holiness of God made this at-one-ment necessary. Sin is anything contrary to the nature of God and seems to be the best all-inclusive definition of it. As such it is offensive to God, so much so, that it excites His holy wrath against it (Jn 3:36; Rom 1:18; Eph 5:6). Which makes being at-one-ment with God, pardoned and brought back into His favor absolute essential. We are not nearly as offended about our sin as God is. A sin virus has infected the whole human race and we carry it and pass it on from person to person and generation to generation. We can never come up with a cure for it. If no plan of atonement had been proposed and perpetuated by the Godhead, all would be hopeless for mankind.
(3) The necessity of at-one-ment made Jesus coming possible. So in the counsels of the Father, Son and HS, it was decreed that One should come and offer Himself as an eternal and divine substitute in these sinners place. This meant that Jesus Christ had to assume a human body (Jn 1:14; 1 Tim 3:16; 2 Cor 5:19). Somehow we needed to be pardoned for our sin or it was all over. So Christ took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross Phil 2:5-8. There is no explanation of this atonement apart from the fact that Christ was without spot or blemish. He was an innocent lamb who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we mite be made the righteousness of God in him 2 Cor 5:21. As His blood was shed on the cross, this innocent lamb took our sin and a merciful and loving God was able to cleanse and pardon guilty sinners. Jesus took our penalty and died in our place according the plan and counsel of God (Acts 2:23).
3. WHO BENEFITS FROM IT? This at-one-ment made provisionfor everyoneís sin. He is the propitiation for our sins and not ours only but also for the sins of the whole world 1 Jn 2:2 (1 Tim 2:3-6; 2 PT3:9; Titus 2:11; 1 JN 4:14; Heb 2:9; 2 Cor 5:15). God provided the way for everyoneís sin to be provided for. So the opportunity of beginning again in this life at one with God is given to all men and so we go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature Mark 16:15.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF IT? There are a number of effects and they include the following:
(1) God is effected by the death of Jesus Christ. That effect we call satisfaction/propitiation whereby before the sinner could enter into His untarnished presence, Godís holiness and righteousness demands full and complete satisfaction. The justice of God demanded death for sin and Christ fulfilled that. Since all sin is against God, He alone needed to be satisfied with the work of the cross and the Bible teaches God was. When a sinner bears his own penalty he is lost forever. When a sinner accepts Jesus Christ as His sin-bearer, he is saved forever. Jesus met the requirements as a sinlessly perfect sacrifice and God says He is satisfied with that.
(2) Man is effected by the death of
Christ. Jesus was our substitute who bore the penalty of our sin against God for us. Sinful man owes God an obligation which he cannot pay here or in eternity. But an authorized, approved substitute was available to stand in his place and represent him legally. We are forgiven and spared only because another who was innocent took our place and died in our stead. Jesus Christ took the place of guilty sinners for the son of man came...to give his life a ransom for many Matt 20:28 (Jn 10:15; Gal 1:3-4; 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25: 1 PT 2:24; 3:18). When Jesus put away sin by His sacrifice, he brot to an end the estrangement between God and man and God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself 2 Cor 5:19. Personal relations have been settled.
(3) Sin is effected by the death of Jesus Christ.There is redemption from sin. It means to buy back that which was forfeited. This is the solution to sin. Reconciliation is the solution for the sinner and satisfaction is the solution for God. Christ has redeemed us (Gal 3:13 with His own precious blood (1 PT 1:18-19). Once sold under sin we have now been removed out of itís slavemarket and set free from its penalty (Rom 3:24) of the past, itís power (Titus 2:11-14) in the present and from its presence (Rom 8:23) in the future. When Jesus Christ cried It is finished that is just what he meant for God, for us and for sin! You have to accept this by faith. Site one day.