Weekly Word Definition – Atonement

The definition of Atonement is as follows:

 The English word for atonement originally meant “at one-ment” or “at one with” like being in harmony with someone and in this case it means to be at one with God through the atonement that was made possible by the substitutionary death of Christ on our behalf.  The Hebrew Word for atonement is “kipur” with the verb form being “kaphar” and means “to cover, purge, make reconciliation” and “to cover with or coat with pitch.”  That last definition is remarkably interesting because the same Hebrew word used for pitch is “kaphar” and that is what the Ark was covered with.  When God commanded Noah to build an Ark to save him, his family, and many of the animals from the coming judgment of the flood, he was commanded to cover the Ark with pitch or “kaphar” which is to cover, make reconciliation with, or to purge.  Since the floodwaters were indicative of the judgment of God on fallen, sinful mankind, it is not ironic that God used the word “kaphar” in telling Noah to cover the Ark with pitch. Thus, the Ark is seen as symbolic of God’s salvation and the atonement or covering from God’s judgment (of the floodwaters) as seen in the pitch that Noah applied to the outside of the Ark whereby God sparred Noah and his family from the judgment of sin by an atoning, reconciling covering or cover that the pitch was known for.  This is indicative of salvation being fully a work of God and not of man (Eph. 2:8-9).

And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it.

Exodus 29:36 (NKJV)

But this shall be the obligation of the prince regarding the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the festivals, the new moons, and the Sabbaths, all the appointed festivals of the house of Israel: he shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, the burnt offerings, and the offerings of well-being, to make atonement for the house of Israel.

Ezekiel 45:17 (NRSV)

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.

Proverbs 16:6 (NIV2011)

Notice the word atonement is only in the Old Testament. Atonement will only cover your sin and they are still there to remind you year after year of the sins in your life.

In the New Testament, through the giving of the blood of Christ, our sins are not covered. Our sins are removed and forgotten by God.

Weekly Devotional – May 1, 2021

Did You Really Forgive?

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Hebrews 10:11-18 (NKJV)

How many times have I heard someone who claim they are a Christian say, “I will forgive what they did, but I won’t forget.” If this is their attitude, they may as well not waste their time.

Forgiving is only half the process. We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did. If we keep the sin committed by another person in our hearts to use against them another time, then we are the sinners, not them.

Paul makes it very clear in the 11th verse above how the repeated reminder of a sin is fruitless. To truly forgive someone, we must also remove it from our heart so our mind can never remember it.

            No one ever said being a Christian was easy. God has never told us we would understand all His ways, He only wants us to trust Him.

            We can’t have salvation on our terms. Salvation is on God’s terms. Remember, we turned our lives over to Him.

How would we feel if God constantly reminded us of the sins we committed? Jesus paid for those sins and took them away.

In the 12th verse above, it states that after He had made one sacrifice for sin, He sat down at the Right Hand of the Father.

Jesus was the only one qualified to make that sacrifice. He is no longer in a position to make sacrifices, therefore, the sin must be forgotten and removed from existence. If there is no sin, there is no need for a sacrifice.

We must forgive and forget. If God can forget, if Christ can forget, who are we to think we can’t?