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Atonement

By Prem Lee

 

John 14: 1 - 6

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

Jesus is the Way, the Reality of Life for us.


Kaphar? Is that a word? Yes, but not in English, it is in Hebrew. It means ‘to cover’ and is used in Leviticus and the other books of Moses. So, what did it cover? Ex 32:30 makes it clear that it will make ‘atonement’ or ‘kaphar’ for your sin.


What is this word 'atonement'? What does it mean? It was a word that became frequent in use after 15th century AD when Bible translations skyrocketed. Its root meaning is from ‘at one’ or 'to unite and make one'. So, we find that this word had two meanings - to cover our sins (in Hebrew), and to make us one with God (in English). Both these concepts are important and need to be kept together.


Unfortunately, these two ideas miss out an important component, that a gift has to be accepted.

Let us understand it this way. There is a wall. The cross of Jesus covered our sin and opened a door through the wall. As I go through the wall NOW, I experience the presence of God with me and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in my life NOW.

My life is changed; I am separated from this world and I am living for God and His purposes. But many think this get-free card is either not true or an insult to their ability to EARN their salvation and so they try to make their own door through the wall.


When we put these three ideas together, we get a complete picture of atonement. Jesus opened a door in the wall that separates us from God by covering our sins. So, if we walk through the door NOW (not when you die), you become ‘at + one’ with God, and the Holy Spirit enables you to live the life God wants you live – for Him and His purposes.

Wow. It is that simple. Phenomenally simple.


 

Bible verse references:

Exodus 32: 30 - The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord ; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”






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