A definition for atonement is a harmonious relationship through some sort of reconciliation. The primary use of this word in the Bible is to portray the reconciliation between God and man through the work of Jesus Christ. The need for reconciliation was brought about by Adam and Eve’s sinful rebellion in the Garden of Eden and passed on to all of mankind, without exception, (See Learning Activity #20).
1. Exodus 29:36
2. How is the word atonement being used in the verse above?
The Hebrew word used here for atonement is “kaphar” which also could have been translated as “to cover.” During the Old Covenant, any time there was a breach in the relationship between God and man due to man’s sin, an animal sacrifice provided a way to cover over man’s sin. This was provided for by the individual sinner bringing an animal to the priest to be sacrificed.
3. Leviticus 23:27
4. What special aspect of atonement is spoken of in the above verse?
The “Day of Atonement” was an annual ceremony for the sins of the entire nation of Israel. To become familiar with this event you should take time at this point to read the entire sixteenth chapter of the book of Leviticus.
5. Leviticus 16:21, 22
6. Describe in your own words the unique action that was to take place on the Day of Atonement as described in the two verses above.
The activity described in #5 and #6 above is where the terminology “scape goat” originated. The scape goat is what is known as a “type” and represents Christ. Just as the goat took upon itself the sin of Israel, so does Christ take upon Himself the sin of the world. Types and anti-types will be explained in a later Learning Activity.
This ceremony was performed once each year on the Day of Atonement. The practices above were carried out throughout the period of time of the Old Covenant, but something very special happened to change all of this as the New Covenant was being ushered in.
7. John 1:36
8. What unique title or name is given to Jesus Christ in the verse above?
9. Hebrews 10:4
10. What is it that the Hebrews 10:4 verse tells us about the sacrificing of animals for sin under the New Covenant?
11. Hebrews 9:12
12. What does the verse above state about Jesus Christ?
13. Matthew 26:28
14. What did Jesus say the wine was symbolical of in the verse above?
15. Colossians 1:21, 22
16. What do the two verses above say that Christ did by His death on the cross?
17. Romans 3:22, 25
18. What key statement do we find in the verse above that causes us to be righteous before God?
19. Revelation 1:5
20. What does the verse above say happened to our sin?
21. Hebrews 10:10
22. Explain the verse above in your own words.
As I was preparing my notes for writing this Learning Activity I took notice that the word “atonement” appears eighty times in the Old Testament, but only once in the New Testament!
23. Romans 5:11
24. After reading the verse above, what ideas do you have as to why this might be the only time the word “atonement” is used in the New Testament?
What had been required as a repetitive act in the Old Covenant, the sacrifice of animals, was done away with (fulfilled) in the New Covenant by the one-time death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. This atonement becomes active in a person the instant that they believe in Jesus Christ as described in Learning Activity #7.
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