—Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette.

Watering the Tulips


“And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation”Romans 5:11 NKJV

The word “atonement” is an important part of any theological system.  What occurred at the cross of Christ is the most important doctrine in the Bible.  When we use the word “atonement” in the New Testament sense, we really speak of “reconciliation”.  The Greek word katallagh is properly rendered as “reconciliation” in the verse before us.

So, did Christ make atonement for us or did He reconcile us to God?  This question is not asked concerning the way we often use the word.  This question is asked from a Biblical standpoint.  Biblically, “atonement” is an Old Testament word.  Exodus 30:10 says, “And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.” Notice, this “atonement” was temporary and had to be repeated every year.

How does the Old Testament atonement compare to what Jesus did for His people?  Was it temporary?  In John 10:28, Jesus says, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish”.  Jesus’ sacrifice for the sins of the sheep was anything but temporary.  It is eternal.  Does it have to ever be repeated?  Hebrews 10:10 says, “…we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” while in John 19:30, Jesus says, “It is finished” just before He gave up His spirit.  The sacrifice of Christ is perfect and will never be repeated.  It doesn’t need to be.

Though we may actually speak of the “atonement of Christ”, we are really talking about the “reconciliation” from a Biblical perspective.  Jesus didn’t try to do anything.  He didn’t temporarily do anything.  He didn’t perform an act that was insignificant and needed to be repeated year after year.  Jesus literally “reconciled” us to God by His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.  He saved us.  He bought us.  He washed us from our sins in His blood.

Child of God, take time today to thank God that Jesus’ work is complete.  There’s nothing that we need to add to it.  Oh, how we love the words to that old hymn – “Jesus paid it all.  All to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain.  He washed it white as snow.”  Is your confidence in Jesus’ work alone?

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