I hate it when I leave things on the table, but in all transparency, I'm learning that communicating through other mediums(not just a message on Sunday) is an essential discipline for me. When it comes to communication on different platforms, I assure you that I've thought about it, dreamed about it, and even complained to people that I don't have enough time to do it but never really done it. Well, hopefully, that ends now. Other church teachers and I will start populating our app & website with more content and thoughts to consume. 

This is Sunday+

What was left on the table this Sunday: Atonement has multiple motifs that tell the larger story of what it means to be atoned. Also, there is a theological debate on atonement, with many scholars chiming in over many years on the topic. The following words are super fancy and worth knowing for developing an understanding of atonement.
Sacrifice - Hebrews 9:6-15 the work of Christ is likened to the Old Testament Day of Atonement. Christ is depicted as the high priest who entered the Holy Place to offer sacrifice, as described in The Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. Christ is not only the victim of the sacrifice but also the priest who offers it. This is supernaturally unique. 

Propitiation - What a fancy word. It isn't an easy task to work the word propitiation into your natural conversation. Give it a try this week. Propitiation means, in its simplest form, to appease God. In Paul's writings in the New Testament, he regards Christ's death as propitiatory. Christ died to appease God's wrath against sin. Although this rings true in our minds, it has stirred up controversy in theologian circles for some time. Romans 3:21-26 is a passage about redemption God has provided through Jesus Christ. This passage is a conclusion of sorts to Paul's opening thoughts in Romans 1:18-20

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

God's holiness requires that there be atonement for man's sin. When thinking about the motif of propitiation in atonement

We have read and believed Christ died for our sake and on our behalf. He died in our place. Isaiah 53 perfectly expresses "the suffering servant" taking our place. As was read during our worship gathering, John the Baptist said regarding Jesus, "Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." John the Baptist is linking Isaiah 53 and Leviticus and "The Day of Atonement."

The death of Christ concludes what was told to the serpent in Genesis 3. That hostility that existed between God and humankind has ended. Our hostility toward God is removed. This is reconciliation.

If you take the four fancy words and bring them together you get a better understanding of the word atonement.  Sacrifice, propitiation, substitution, and reconciliation are motifs in telling the story of atonement in the Bible.  Each word adding a layer of depth and meaning to God's love for humankind.  

Some Biblical texts to look at and consider followed by a video and link to a podcast if you want to go further down the rabbit hole

1 John 2:2
He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

1 John 4:10
10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Romans 3:21-26
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[i] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Hebrews 9:23-28
Therefore, it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model[f] of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that he might now appear in the presence of God for us. 25 He did not do this to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. 26 Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— 28 so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but[g] to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
If you want to nerd out even more you can check out this 75 minute podcast from The Bible Project.  They do a deep dive into "what is atonement."  Click the "Learn More" button

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