Leviticus 23:27-28 “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.”
The word ‘atonement’ is not one we use in our English language. Webster’s defines it this way:
1. Agreement; concord; reconciliation, after enmity or controversy. Rom. 5.
Between the Duke of Glo’ster and your brothers.
2. Expiation; satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury, or by doing or suffering that which is received in satisfaction for an offense or injury; with for.
And Moses said to Aaron, go to the altar, and offer thy sin-offering, and thy burnt-offering, and make an atonement for thyself and for the people. Lev. 9.
When a man has been guilty of any vice, the best atonement he can make for it is, to warn others not to fall into the like.
The Phocians behaved with so much gallantry, that they were thought to have made a sufficient atonement for their former offense.
3. In theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings of Christ.
Also, expiation is another:
EXPIA’TION, n. L. expiatio. The act of atoning for a crime; the act of making satisfaction for an offense,by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person to punish the crime is canceled; atonement; satisfaction. Among pagans and Jews, expiation was made chiefly by sacrifices, or washings and purification. Among christians, expiation for the sins of men is usually considered as made only be the obedience and sufferings of Christ.
1. The means by which atonement for crimes is made; atonement; as sacrifices and purification among heathens, and the obedience and death of Christ among christians.
2. Among ancient heathens, an act by which the threats of prodigies were averted.
Simply, atonement is made when the punishment for the crime is satisfied.
There are two places where atonement for sin is made.
One is Hell.
Luke 16:22-23 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
Hell was to be the place reserved for the devil and his angels. It truly was never meant for us to go there.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The second place where atonement for sin was made is the cross.
Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
It was the shedding of blood that satisfied the payment needed to wash away our sin.
Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
When a soul is presented with the stark difference of having to pay for your sins in a place called Hell or accepting the free gift of sins paid for by the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; why would anyone choose Hell?
The excruciating and painful method of crucifixion magnifies the enormity and significance of what was done for us. Think of it – Hell forever.
A place where you will forever be burning. The worms crawl in and out of your body. There is no light, no love, and no letup. There is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Every scene of opportunity will pass through our minds. Those opportunities where we could have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and be in a totally different place.
A physician studied the act of Roman crucifixion and describes it in detail here.
What Christ went through for my sins, let alone the sins of the world; humbles me. I weep for the pain I caused. I mourn for the added sins I have placed on Him AFTER I have been saved – knowing full well that I am adding to an already large account.
I place a substantial premium on the perspective one has about this very truth. I can excuse away the fact that I sin after becoming saved because it is my nature. That is a very false statement. Trusting Christ literally transformed my nature.
We excuse ourselves because we live in this fleshly body. It is sinful – that is true. But, before Christ, I was unaware of the implications, punishment, and payment that would be exacted because of my sin.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Until my spirit came alive, I understood little to nothing of anything spiritual. What little I may have understood was religious and did not make any sense. Religion tries to outwardly change a man by changing his behavior.
Salvation changes a man by changing his nature from the inside out.
The trichotomy in which God made us; body, soul, and spirit, is made in His own image and likeness. When Adam sinned, our spirit died. Thus, the atonement of Christ was prophesied, predicted, and prepared long before Adam ever came on the scene.
1 Peter 1:18-21 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”
“…foreordained before the foundation of the world…”
Our Heavenly Father had the plan of salvation long before He ever had to put it into motion.
Dear Reader, if you have put off this most important of decisions to trust Jesus as your Savior, please read what God has for you here.
If you have trusted him and are born-again as the Bible describes, then we should take time to be thankful and grateful for the atonement that was made for our souls.