Big Words: Week 3

Big Words
3 – Atonement


“For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the Lord from all your sins… And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest… shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary… for the tent of meeting… for the altar… for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” – Leviticus 16:30-34

“When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” – Hebrews 9:6-7

Atonement is…

…the forgiving of sin that enables reconciliation in our relationship with God…

…or at-one-ment.

16th century reformers used the longer term penal substitutionary atonement.

3 Big Truths about Atonement:

1.  God is holy

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” – Exodus 3:5-6

2.  Sin is deadly

“Condemnation comes to all men.” – Romans 5:18

3.  Sacrifice is necessary

“For the life of the flesh is in the…” what? “…in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.” – Leviticus 17:11

“[But] when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” – Hebrews 9:11

“‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.” – Hebrews 10:17

4.  Jesus is worthy


Discussion Questions:

  • Do you have a better understanding of atonement?  What is the central message of atonement?
  • How do you understand God’s holiness?  What can you do to revere Him more?
  • Why does God take sin so seriously?  What is the punishment for sin?
  • Why was Jesus death on the cross so important?  Why would no other way work?
  • How does knowing and believing penal substitutionary atonement change things for you?