LENT: ATONE

We need saving. According to Hebrews 9:22, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” What in the world does that mean? If we dive into the Old Testament, we see God’s plan starting to unfold to send Jesus to atone for our sins. Every book of the OT is pointing us to the Greatest Sacrifice of all times — Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross on our behalf. 

But if you’re like me…the sacrificial system seems archaic and foreign in our modern times. Sheering a sheep, let alone killing one, aren’t in our run-of-the-mill afternoon plans. But we must constantly remind ourselves that we live in God’s universe. The sacrificial system was part of God’s design. God’s ways are not like our ways (Is. 55:8-9). So, we should not be surprised if it takes some work for us to comprehend. This God-ordained ritual has deep spiritual meaning if we dig deep. We see God teaching the Israelites (and us) that there are great consequences for our sin. When we sin, we sin against God.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Lev. 17:11

What is a Sacrifice?

A sacrifice is an act of giving up something precious to you. Thus, it is costly. As this verse points out, the sacrifice is made to satisfy an offense, or in other words, to atone for sin. The Israelites did not personally know Jesus nor did they comprehend that He would one day rise again, but they did believe that God would send them a Savior. All of their repetitive blood sacrifices were made so that they would never forget the seriousness of their sin and the cost for which to atone it. Over and over, God was teaching the Israelites that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins while also providing a foreshadowing of the once-and-for-all sacrifice that was to come: Jesus.

As Hebrews 9:11-18 further explains and confirms that Jesus is the final, perfect sacrifice. His words, “It is finished” (John 19:30) on the cross further illuminate this truth: our sins have been atoned once and for all. 

Is Jesus’ sacrifice sufficient for my sin?

There is no sin that is too big for God to atone. The weight that you carry around that nags on you saying, “You’re not good enough, smart enough, rich enough…you will never matter” needs to be silenced. The sins you committed yesterday. Atoned. The sins you commit today. Atoned. The sins you commit tomorrow. Atoned. Completely covered by the blook of Jesus. Your sleight has been wiped clean. You are white as snow.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Is. 1:18

Accepting God’s forgiveness for your sins is transformative. You matter! God sent His only Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice to atone for your sins. Therefore, stop living in a defeated, victim-mentality mindset. God has a purpose for you. You do matter! What would change if you started to live that way?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I️ am beyond grateful for the blood sacrifice of Jesus on my behalf. Too often, I️  take it for granted and in doing so, cheapen the effect of sin. Help me realize the costliness and seriousness of my sin and also accept your gift of atonement. Amen.