There is a lot of misunderstanding about this topic from the Bible. Many Christians think atonement in the Old Testament originated with Moses and the Mosaic laws. If you think about it you have to go all the way back to Genesis for the first act of atonement.
When Adam and Eve committed the second sin, the Glory of God was gone from them and they saw that they were naked. They hid from God because they were ashamed of their nakedness. God still loved His creation and initiated His plan of atonement to restore the Grace and Fellowship we lost when sin came into the world. It kept humanity from having fellowship with God.
The first act of atonement happened when our all-loving God provided animal skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. But this act went deeper, this act meant a sinless animal died and innocent blood was shed on the behalf of the very sinful Adam and Eve. The sins of Adam and Eve were paid for by the blood of an innocent animal. They were covered by the animal’s skin on their bodies, and by the spilling of its blood at the same time.
Atonement works when an innocent party takes the punishment that was due to a guilty party. In the days of the Old Testament there was a major problem. Even the word atonement in Hebrew back then was pronounced “kaphar” which means “to cover”. And that was what the problem in the Old Testament was all about, the sacrifice of an animal by the priest in the temple only covered the sins of man, not getting rid of them forever.
Now in the New Testament things changed for the better! While animal sacrifice served as a covering of human sin in the Old Testament, animals could not ultimately atone for humans.
Humanity needed one of their own, one who had no sin, and knew no sin. He was what was needed to stand in and take the punishment that was due for all sins by all sinners!
Jesus is God’s solution for restoring Grace to us, through Jesus Christ. We now have fellowship once again with the Father! We know the story of how Jesus hung on a cross and shed His blood that we may live. Going back to the first sacrifice, God made Adam and Eve clothing to wear by sacrificing the animal and shedding its blood.In the second sacrifice God gave us His Son, and had His blood shed to cover all our sins.
Jesus went through His trial, crucifixion, and resurrection, which made Him the Suffering Servant on our behalf. He was innocent of any and all sin in His life, but Jesus stood in our place to take the terrible punishment that we so justly deserve. He shed His blood to atone for us. Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered into the Holy Place once, having obtained eternal redemption for us. By sacrificing Himself and paying for our sins by the shedding of His blood, Jesus satisfied God’s Holy wrath against us and all our sins once and for all!
All glory to God
His humble servant Lee M Buchanan