A Plain Language Thought from the Window
WE all need this! NO exceptions!
Or we are goners for sure!
What is it?!
The real biblical focus is relationship. That is, us with God. While He is perfect we are not. Bridging the gap between what is and what is not ... brings us to a need for atonement.
It's kind of fun to look at the English word by the very nature of the spelling ... "At One Ment" is an expression of repairing a relationship with Him. Get it?! At one with Him ... in a repaired relationship ... being right with God.
From a Messianic viewpoint, atonement is a topic that comes with a unique twist. See this and you'll see why we are talking about Jew and Gentile together.
First, Israel is a House (a gathering of a specific set of peoples) that comes out of the story we have from Abraham. Abraham's faith and God's request put sacrifice into view in the text of Genesis when Abraham was to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. But then God steps in to provide the sacrifice, a ram.
Ge 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son. (ASV)
Later, it is the God of Israel who again provides a sacrifice for all humanity (as described in the Brit Chadeshah, New Covenant; ref Jeremiah 31:31). This is part of the unique 'twist' we are speaking of, so read on!
John 1:29 On the morrow he seeth Yeshua coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world! (ASV; Yeshua:Jesus)
Second, Israel as a young nation, just before leaving Egypt (the exodus), was introduced to the concept of sacrifice as part of an act of atonement. The Passover lamb is symbolic of sacrifice such that God passes over and thus does not enter into judgment (with those who made the sacrifice in honoring God). There is in this event forgiveness for some and judgment for others, don't miss this contrast, it's important!
Third, later, Israel built a temple in Jerusalem. You can read in the Bible, Book of Leviticus, about all the types of sacrifices that were made in order for a person to be unburdened of and forgiven of sin. In this case, a Priest in the temple would act upon your behalf in assisting with the sacrifice, but in all cases where animals were involved, the sacrifice paid the ultimate price for your sin and forgiveness (death for a life; life is in the blood). The animal shed its blood and lost its life for you.
Le 17:11 ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ (NKJV)
Fourth, temple sacrifice was temporary and if you sinned again, back you went to the temple. On a yearly basis, Israel observed Passover and in so doing lambs were sacrificed just as on the first Passover in Egypt. Again, a mediator, the lamb, acts upon your behalf in this act of obtaining the Lord's favor, but still for only one year at a time.
HERE's the unique twist ...
This is something missed by most Jewish persons and many Gentiles ... to the Jew, we have provided evidence for the name and identity of the Jewish Messiah (here on other pages of this web site; see The Secret Place page on Apologetics) and to the Gentile we have linked a harmony of Scripture that relates God's desire for a relationship with Israel and all Nations (to the Jew first, but then to ALL Gentiles).
Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, that is Jesus of Nazareth, was sacrificed at the very same time that thousands of lambs were being taken to the temple for sin sacrifice (at Passover, this coincidence is not a mistake, but specific and on purpose).
In the temple, at that very moment, Priests and lambs were acting in an process of expiation, that is, making atonement for sins of others (those who brought the lambs to the temple). The sinning party neither lost his or her life, but was given a 'new chance,' as it were at starting anew, free of past sin.
Outside the city, Messiah, became the Lamb or God, was presenting Himself as the one and only acceptable sin offering to God. Messiah is our mediator, our Priest, our source of forgiveness. The twist is one sacrifice now covers all sin, past, present, and future. This sacrifice alone replaces the need for temple sacrifice. And maybe it is no trivial irony that the temple was destroyed a short while later!
Talmudic Evidence Says It's So!
How do we know this offering carries "God's seal of approval?" Not only did Messiah die for our sins, through His sacrifice we are given both forgiveness and His grace. His resurrection from death is proof of His authority as the lamb of God. Without this His death would have been nothing special. But coming back to the living, resurrected in flesh and spirit, making a show of this truth as evidence of this truth, created a bond between all peoples and a future with Him.
In the years to follow there were signs in the temple that testified to Yeshua's importance ... all these pointed to Messiah, who had come to earth and then who had returned to God.
Jewish writers reported these miracles that occurred in the temple and you can read about these here within the window (the article is entitled Talmudic Evidence for the Messiah at 30 C.E.)
The Full Story
What few recognize, but is the main thread to the Harmony here at WindowView, is that the Jewish writings in the Hebrew Tanach weave into the Jewish writings of the Greek text. The New Covenant contains 'good news' and this news is all about the atonement and what is birthed by this great news.
How does one get to this state of being one with God?
There are many ways to approach this question. One simple first step might be to say we need to address how our imperfect state puts sin as a stumbling block in our way to a clear relationship with God. And to accept that reality, allows us to see the Messiah put an effective and lasting sacrifice in place such that we might have atonement ... and this is a central and vital step in building a relationship with Him. From that we can build faith in Messiah and hold to faith as we live out our days.
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A Dictionary Definition: Atonement
• (Religion) reparation or expiation for sin : the High Priest offered the sacrifice as atonement for all the sins of Israel.
• (the Atonement) Christian Theology the reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ.
Let us add to the definition above ... Atonement is provided by a mediator ... the Jewish Messiah was and is today that Mediator ... and that is the entire Big Picture for Jew and Gentile alike! Too simple? Really, that's it ... simple!
Read the Bible: MKJV of Hebrew (Tanach) and Greek (Brit Chadeshah); plus other translations added as available.
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