The Atoning SacrificeJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:03
The Atoning Sacrifice
The Atoning Sacrifice
1 John 4:10
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (NIV)
In the Old Testament, there was one major sacrifice that only happened one day a year. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter into the Most Holy Place carrying the blood of a perfect lamb to sprinkle it upon the Mercy Seat, which was the cover of the Ark of the Covenant. The Spirit of God manifested above the cover and the Ten Commandments were inside the Ark with a few other things. And He would make atonement for the people.
All other sacrifices were made either each day or each week, but the Atonement sacrifice was done only once a year.
The atonement sacrifice was a ritual God gave to purify the altars of the temple where the sacrifices were made and to purify the Temple itself. This sacrifice made all other sacrifices acceptable to God. By making atonement for the Temple, the altars, himself, and the people, the High Priest fulfilled this ritual allowing the grace of God to be made available to anyone who might come to worship.
The love of God is shown in this atoning sacrifice because it means that Jesus died to make it possible for anyone who so desired to come to Him by faith and worship Him. Jesus, as God, has foreknowledge of all who will choose to come to Him by faith and those who never will. Yet, though He knew many would never come to Him, He still died atoning for them just to give them the opportunity should they choose.
To love like Jesus, we are to live an atonement lifestyle so that we never reject anyone who wants to come to God. We gladly open our arms of love to whosoever might want to come to God. Not everyone will choose God, but for any who do, we embrace them as brothers and sisters regardless of their sin, habits, past offenses, race, gender, or anything else. Our place is to love them and let You make them new.
Prayer: Lord, help me to never prejudge anyone to justify not loving them or ministering to them in Your name. Amen.