In the Scriptures, atonement refers to payment for sin. Offerings were made to gain God’s favor so that he would remove a worshiper’s guilt. The sacrifice was presented as a substitute for the offender. An animal died in the offender’s place, and the wrath of God was turned aside. The imagery was clear — because of sin someone had to die. It would either be the sinner or a substitute.
Like the animals offered to atone for the sins of the Israelites, Jesus’ life was offered as a substitute for ours. His death satisfied God’s wrath and covered our sin (Romans 3:25). This concept is captured in the lyrics of the hymn, “Jesus Paid It All”: “Oh praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!” Jesus, as the great substitute, paid the price of death on behalf of his people. The one who paid our penalty is worthy of glory and honor both now and forever.
Jesus, thank you for paying my debt in full. I could never deserve such a gift and am overwhelmed with gratitude for you. Amen.
7 Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar, and offer your sin offering, and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself, and for the people; and offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as Yahweh commanded.”
25 whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;
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