Unlimited: A Sacrifice of Atonement
Jun 21, 2022 155
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement (Romans 3:25(a)).
There are countless ways in which Christianity can present Jesus. As long as they are true to the Bible, these are all good. However, there is one perspective which must always take priority over all the others: Jesus as our atoning sacrifice. That is the meaning of the Greek word here: hilasterion.
When the apostle Paul writes that “God presented Christ” he is referring to the principal way in which God wants us to look at Christ: as a sacrifice. That means that our attention should be first and foremost focused on the Cross of Christ. Every message and every teaching, if it is to be true to the Gospel, should centre on God’s saving victory through Christ’s death and resurrection.
There is one perspective which must always take priority over all the others: Jesus as our atoning sacrifice.
The word “atonement” refers to the Old Testament idea of the removal of the kind of impurity that would cause God to withdraw his presence. By sacrificing himself on the Cross for us, Jesus removed the impurity of sin from our lives. Because of this sacrifice, we are now perfectly accepted in his presence.
We must resist every tendency to take the focus off Jesus the Lamb of God, sacrificed for the sin of the world. That’s not only how John the Baptist presented Christ to the world (John 1:29); it’s also how God presents him to us today.
The idea of Jesus as a sacrifice isn’t a popular one in some circles today. Think about it. Why is it that the Bible so heavily emphasizes the sacrificial aspect of what Jesus did at the Cross?