Dr Wayne Gruden1 makes some interesting observations about this word, “We may define the atonement as follows: The atonement is the work Christ did in his life and death to earn our salvation.
What was the ultimate cause that led to Christ’s coming to earth and dying for our sins? To find this we must trace the question back to something in the character of God himself. And here Scripture points to two things: the love and justice of God. The love of God as a cause of the atonement is seen in the most familiar passage in the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16NKJV but the justice of God also required that God find a way that the penalty due to us for our sins would be paid (for he could not accept us into fellowship with himself unless the penalty was paid). Paul explains that this was why God sent Christ to be a “propitiation” (that is, a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath). “Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” Romans 3:25NKJV”
As we enter the Easter season, let us remember that the Cross of Christ, embodies both the love and justice of God.
- Gruden, W. (2014). Systematic theology. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press pp. 568-569
Pastor Bernard & Maureen