Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The literal meaning of the word "Atonement" is self-evident: at-one-ment, the act of unifying or bringing together what has been separated and estranged. The Atonement of Jesus Christ was indispensable because of the separating transgression, or fall, of Adam, which brought death into the world when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9; 3:1-24).
Because He was God—even the Son of God—He could carry the weight and burden of other men's sins on Himself. Isaiah prophesied our Savior's willingness to do this in these words: "Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:4-5.)
That holy, unselfish act of voluntarily taking on Himself the sins of all other men is called the Atonement. How one could bear the sins for all is beyond the comprehension of mortal man. But this I know: He did take on Himself the sins of all and did so out of His infinite love for each of us.
No mortal being had the power or capability to redeem all other mortals from their lost and fallen condition, nor could any other voluntarily forfeit His life and thereby bring to pass a universal resurrection for all other mortals. Only Jesus Christ was able and willing to accomplish such a redeeming act of love.
What does the Atonement of Jesus Christ means to you? Please share your stories below.