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Atonement With Representation

Jesus became both for you and me. He came to earth to provide atonement for our sin, not His as He had no sin (Heb. 4:15). He did this for us lovingly, and as a product of God’s love in order to “appease, render favorable” [Guy N. Woods], sinful man. In addition He both stood in our place and now represents us before the Father (I John 2:2).

Accordingly the writer of Hebrews records that Jesus was made like us to reconcile us to God (Heb. 2:17). He was made a little lower than the angels (2:9), and tempted in all points as we are (4:15) without sinning. “A body hast thou prepared for me” (Heb. 10:5). From the earthly to the risen Heavenly Savior, Jesus the Christ took on the role of High Priest to go before the Father in our behalf.

It was God’s love that sent Him to offer atonement for our sins (I John 4:10). It was a personal gift from God (John 3:16). It was done out of unfathomable love for us (Rom. 5:8), and should result in our loving Him and one another (I John 4:11). While there may be an easy conceptual understanding of such action, the question comes can one really understand such selfless love?

Jesus was put forward to render us favorable to God the Father (Rom. 3:25), Favorable to God who is sinless by nature cannot and will not sin. It is that God who has done His part by grace (Eph. 2:8) “by His blood” to prepare us through obedient faith for a home in Heaven. Yes, we have a part to play in this through obedience of faith (Rom. 3:26). Why? Because all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). To deny this fact is to be a liar (I John 1:8). No sin or sinner can enter sinless Heaven. One must be prepared, and made favorable to God for such a privilege.

The righteous provision made for all was and is Jesus Christ the righteous (I John 2:2). That is why the Gospel is for all (Mark. 16:15-16). While not all will obey, all should have the opportunity to obey (Rom. 10:16-17). The righteous provision gives us an advocate before the Father (I John 2:1) in Jesus Christ the risen Savior.

In Christ, God made salvation possible “to the uttermost,” and He ever lives to make representation [intercession] for us to God (Heb. 7:25). That is propitiation and intercession. That is atonement with representation. The apostle Paul said it this way; “Thanks unto God for His unspeakable gift” (II Cor. 9:15).

David Hill

Northeast Church of Christ bulletin December 10, 2023


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