Monday, October 02, 2006

Day of Atonement

Forgiveness is not a New Testament thing, ushered in by Jesus' death and resurrection. God has always made a way to obtain forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 says "...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." From ancient times there has been a way to obtain forgiveness through the blood of animals, which represented the victims of sin. The priests made atonement by eating the flesh of the sacrifice, becoming one with the victim and then offering forgiveness representatively in the victim's place. Under the old covenant there was a way to be cleansed.

But Christ came to fulfill this Law. He established a second covenant which was better than the first. Christ's sacrifice did away with the need to offer the blood of animals year after year. His was not a temporary fix. Read Hebrews 9 &10.

Jesus said, "Eat my flesh". Of course he wasn't talking about cannibalism. He obviously had something else in mind. We are called to take part in His sufferings and follow His example. He willingly became the victim of our sin and offered a way of atonement. He calls us to do the same:

"For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? [my note: This is obviously expected] But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." 1 Peter 2:19 - 24

First there were animals, then Jesus, now us. God has given us a part in the evolution of the atonement process. The way to obtain forgiveness is to accept the gift of Jesus' sacrifice. The way not to loose it is to continue to forgive those who sin against us.

"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."
Matthew 6:14-15

The Day of Atonement is a day of fasting and humbling of souls (Leviticus 23:26-32). We can not enter into the Feast of Tabernacles without first going through the Day of Atonement.

5 comments:

waiting4her18 said...
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Anonymous said...

But is there be forgiveness without asking? Does GOD forgive us before we ask? Are we to forgive others if they don't ask?
P.

MamaLion said...

Good question. I have wondered the same thing. I think the standard of equal measures applies (Matt. 7:2) If we grant forgiveness without being asked, it stands to reason that God will forgive us for the things we forget to ask or don't realize we need to ask forgiveness for. I think God's forgiveness hinges on accepting Jesus as the atonement. I never really understood the cross until I understood atonement.

DW said...

Isn't God truly so AMAZING?! He not only forgives us but he does that other thing that's so wonderful - putting that sin in the Sea of Forgetfulness! Not only does he forgive us but he forgets it!! Isn't that our problem? Not only do we have trouble forgiving but then that forgetting part is even harder than that forgiving part, if we ever actually do forgive. How I long to do just that and be like Him but boy do I have a long to go!! And, I have past sins that people say have been forgiven but then they seem to remind me of those sins way too often, which is hard when I know that GOD has forgiven me for those sins but I'm am reminded of them. But one thing I know! When God says he has forgiven me, I can truly believe it and He will not remind me of those sins.

Your Friend, DW

MamaLion said...

DW,
The funny thing is that we should forgive even those who remind us of our sins or faults just as we should forgive those that hurt us in other ways. We have to find our comfort and approval in God's eyes. The sad thing is that we don't always see each other the way God sees us. I know I don't. My own faulty judgement or irritation gets in the way sometimes. I take comfort in the fact that this sanctification is a process and I pray I will see how to yield myself to Him more and more.