Facing Calvary Four : Sin and the Need for Atonement

Lenten Reflections Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi 2012

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Why doesn’t God just forgive everybody?

Why indeed? Why was it necessary that the Divine Lamb to die in such a horrific manner to appease the wrath of God? This question and thousands like it have been voiced by believers through the years, often with poorly formed answers and a surfeit of resulting fruit. This question and the thousands like it also reveal the inadequacy of our understanding of atonement. The direct answer to the question is jarring:

Because of your sin, its depth, severity and continued existence.

Let that sink in and your mind races with denial and justification for your personal sinfulness. Certainly, your heart tells you, your sin cannot possibly be that bad! Oh, I might do this or that every once in a while, and occasionally I slip up in this area but I’m a pretty good person. This isn’t a new attitude, though its depth sometimes appears to have historical measure. Few are the Christians who wrestle with the true nature of their fallen souls. Fewer still are the numbers who stand their sin against the absolute holiness of God.

You see, only when we fully comprehend the perfection of God’s holiness can we begin to form a theology of atonement. Only when we have heard from the Spirit how God sees any sin, large or small, as horrific can we even start to understand the answer to our initial question. Only when we understand that God Almighty cannot be in the presence of even the slightest hint of sin can we start to see why the blood sacrifice of the Son was necessary. Only then will we ask the right question,

Can God be in my presence?

Grace and peace to you in the Name of the One who is over all and through all and in all.

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