When taken to the
hospital, the old herdsman was sick, blind, and dying. While he was there his
granddaughter came every day and read to him; the old man enjoyed the soft
sound of the child's voice. One day she found, in the room, a Bible left by a
friend. She casually opened to 1 John 1 and began to read. He listened
attentively, and when he heard the words "And the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son cleanseth us from all sin," he interrupted her.
"Tell me," he
said, "is that really there?" "Yes, Grandpa, it's there."
"Could you read it
to me again?"
"'And the blood of
Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.' "
For a few seconds there
was silence; then he asked, "Are you quite sure that's there, in that
book?" "Yes, Grandpa, quite sure."
"Please, take my
hand and place my finger on that passage and read it to me again." As she
did it, tears dripped down from his sightless eyes, and his voice was heard
speaking with difficulty but with great assurance.
"My dear child . . .
if anyone should ask you how I died, please tell them that I died . . .
What this story shows is
that the doctrine of atonement is not an abstract theory of salvation; it is,
rather, the saving power of God in the lives of fallen, sinful beings.
This lesson provides a biblical
description of atonement. In general, it could be said that the word atonement
refers to the removal of any hindrance to fellowship with God. In a sense,
atonement is the equivalent of reconciliation, but it also includes the idea of
expiation, a fancy word that portrays the idea of removing any barrier that
exists between God and us. The doctrine of atonement emphasizes the sacrifice
of Christ as the exclusive expiatory means by which the barrier between us and
God—which is sin—is removed, leaving us reconciled to Him.
The atonement, in fact, is the biblical
doctrine around which all others revolve. It is centered in Christ's life,
death, resurrection, ascension, mediation, and return. It presupposes the
presence of sin, our fundamental and desperate need of salvation, and God's
loving disposition to save us.
1. Typified in Passover
2. Atonement by Blood
3. Christ the Only
Atonement for Sin
4. Christ Our Life
5. Reconciliation by the
6. Atonement by One
7. Efficacy of the
Atonement through Faith
- the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, esp. as
accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.
1. Typified in Passover Lamb
Exodus 12:5 The animal
you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no
1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid
of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will
be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really
are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.
2. Atonement by Blood
Leviticus 17:11 for the
life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to
purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange
for a life, that makes purification possible.
Hebrews 9:22 In fact,
according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For
without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
3. Christ the Only Atonement for Sin
Isaiah 53:5 But he was
pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could
be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Matthew 20:28 For even
the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life
as a ransom for many.”
Hebrews 9:26 If that had
been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the
world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age
to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
1 John 1:7 But if we are
living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each
other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Revelation 7:14 And I
said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These
are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in
the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
4. Christ Our Life
John 6:51 I am the living
bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever;
and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”
5. Reconciliation by the Cross
Colossians 1.20-21 and
through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with
everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the
cross. 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his
enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.
6. Atonement by One Sacrifice
Hebrews 10.10-12 For
God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ,
once for all time. 11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and
ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again
and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered
himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat
down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
7. Efficacy of the Atonement through Faith
John 3.14-15 And as Moses
lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must
be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
from the Dixon
from the New Living Bible courtesy of www.biblegateway.com
modified by HKM 02/16/2009