Let’s think about Atonement

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Job 1:4–5

And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

In reading this today a thought crossed my mind that needs some more meditation; perhaps you could help with this thought today.

We read that Job regularly made sacrifices for his children in case they sinned.  Until this morning’s reading,  Job’s actions always seemed a bit strange.  But today, as I was thinking about how close Job was to Noah and Noah to Adam, the thought of atoning sacrifices was handed down from God to Adam to Noah to Job.  The next thought was that when Adam and Eve sinned, God made the sacrifice for them.  Noah made the sacrifices for his family.  After Moses received the Laws from God, the father brought the sacrifices for the sins of his family and the priest made the sacrifice.

Fast-forward to God’s sacrifice of Christ for us.  The pattern set by God was that someone else made atonement for the sins of another.  Here is where this gets interesting: neither Adam nor Eve, the children of Job, nor the Israelite children asked for their sins to be atoned.  Someone else who loved them made the atoning sacrifices on their behalf.  Since this was God’s pattern, God was setting the stage for our atonement.  We did not ask God to atone for our sins, and the Jews in Jesus’ day were preparing for their annual Passover sacrifices and did not think they needed a Savior.

John 3:16 makes it clear that it was God’s love that caused Him to send His Son to be our Savior.  In God’s plan, Jesus would be sacrificed by God for man’s sin.  Man did not and could not initiate this.  When we accept Christ as our atoning sacrifice God saves us by grace through faith.

All religions of the world have this one point backward.  They all teach that we must do something after we sin to “atone” on some level for our sin.  If this is Satan’s deception, it is his best one.  In guilt, we think we should do something.  In love, God already did something.  He made the atoning sacrifice just like He did in the Garden, just like Job did for his children.  This then makes us the grateful recipients of the Father’s atoning sacrifice of the Son on our behalf.

What are your thoughts?

 

We pray regularly for all of our friends to have and to know God’s grace, peace and strength.  In this strange times we must be turning more to God, increasing our faith, and learning the lessons God is teaching us.  This is not a time to be doubting our God.  He is in control, James 1 tells us this.  Sunday’s message was taken from James 1:2-8 as we looked at God’s purposes, our joy, and God’s wisdom.  You can find this message at www.jibc.or.id 

Have a great day in the Lord

PS

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