Atonement – reconciliation by removing the barrier that sin creates
Christ suffered in our place
II. Traditional Understandings
It was necessary to meet the requirement of divine righteousness (Anselm, 1100)
Expression of divine love, moral example (Abelard, 1141)
Satisfaction of the law/divine government (Grotius, 1617)
Expiation – cleanse people from the effect of sin and guilt
Propitiation – satisfying demands of God’s justice/holiness
Both sides evident in the ritual for Day of Atonement (Lev. 16), in the two goats – one killed the other a scapegoat
Origen (230) – ransom paid to the devil to redeem. Opposed by Athanasius, never accepted by the Church
Mark 10:45 (NIV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom (lutron) for many."
John 1:29 (NIV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Rom 3:24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption (apolutrosis) that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement (hilasterion) by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
1Cor 15:3 (NIV) For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
2Cor 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Col 1:20 (NIV) and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Heb 9:14 (NIV) How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! 15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
1Pet 2:24 (NIV) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
1 John 2:2 and he is the atoning sacrifice (hilasmos) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice (hilasmos) for our sins.