How Does Christ Atone for Our Sins?

Colin S. Smith
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Act 1: Christ Appears

In the New Testament, another high priest appears. He is not a son of Aaron like all the others: This Priest is the Son of God! His glory is far greater than the splendid clothes worn by the high priest. He shared the glory of the Father before the world began. But just as the high priest discarded his magnificent clothing on the Day of Atonement, so Christ laid aside His glory and took the form of a servant. He was wrapped in strips of cloth and laid in a manger.

Act 2: Christ Prepares

Jesus did the will of the Father and fulfilled all the work that the Father had given Him to do. He was what every other priest wished he could be. He lived the life that no other high priest was able to live. His perfect life qualified Him to achieve what all the other high priests could only illustrate.

“Jesus did the will of the Father and fulfilled all the work that the Father had given Him to do.”

Act 3: Christ Makes Atonement

After three years of His public ministry, Jesus was arrested and sentenced to be crucified. On the cross, He became the sacrifice for our sins. The judgment of God was diverted away from us and onto Him. When His blood was shed, God’s justice was satisfied, and God’s mercy was released.

Act 4: We Confess Our Sins

This is where you have a part to play in the drama. Just as the high priest laid both hands on the head of the live goat and confessed the sins of the people, God invites you to “lay hold” of Jesus Christ in an act of faith and confess your sins to Him.

The sacrifice offered by Jesus is sufficient to cover the sins of the whole world. But it is not until you come to Him in faith and confession that His sacrifice is applied to your sins in particular. Have you done that?

When you do, God counts the guilt of your sin as being transferred to Jesus Christ. It is laid on Him and included in the sin for which He died.

Act 5: Our Sins Are Removed

When our sins have been laid on Christ, God promises that He will take them as far from us “as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).

Try to imagine a person who has been struggling with a troubled conscience. Let’s call her Sarah. She has made a foolish choice and wonders if God can ever forgive her.

Sarah is in the crowd watching the great drama of the Day of Atonement. The following day, she is still struggling with her conscience when a friend comes to talk with her.

“Sarah, think about what you saw yesterday. What happened when the high priest grabbed that goat by the head?”

“He confessed our sins.”

“And did he confess your sin?”

“Yes, he did, and when he spoke about it, I felt so ashamed.” “What happened to the sins that he confessed?”

“They were laid on the goat’s head.”

And what happened to the goat?” her friend asks.

“It was taken away.”

“How far was it taken, Sarah?”

“Farther than I could see.”

Take that picture and apply it to your own life. Can you picture your sins being taken away into the distance and out of sight? God wants you to know that, through the finished work of Christ, your sin is forgiven and your guilt is removed.

For Further Reading:

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