He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2
Broken relationships rank close to the top of painful life experiences. Friendships, marriages and the workplace offer opportunities for relationships to rip apart. I even watch with a sensitive heart as my granddaughter’s first friend/boy, as she calls him, begins to develop and remember the angst of my own teenage relationships. Broken adolescent friendships fade in comparison to the pain of loss God felt when Adam and Eve introduced sin into Paradise. The morning walks with God in the cool of the day morphed into hiding and shame. Mankind’s broken connection with our Creator set in motion what would eventually fracture the entire Universe.
What a relief to discover that God had a plan! His plan addressed everyone’s sin, including my own broken relationship with God—Jesus’ atoning death. I was a child when I first heard the stories of Jesus’ death on the cross. Years later, when I first read the word ‘atonement,’ I stumbled. It looked foreign and unfamiliar to me. Thankfully, our pastor offered a way to remember its meaning. Atonement simply describes the restoration of a broken relationship between God and humankind. Christ’s sacrificial death canceled my sin and allowed me to be reinstated to a relationship of at-one-ment with God. The broken relationship I inherited from Adam and Eve had been mended. I could be in a restored relationship with God because of the payment Jesus offered with His life. What a gift! I remember clearly as an eight year old little girl feeling filled-up-with-God’s love the evening I accepted this wonderful gift. God had seemed so very far away, and now He felt so close. That’s all I knew at the time, but now I understand with my mind that the atonement His death made possible was now very personal. I delight in the changed status of being back in relationship with my Creator. He had restored our broken relationship. What joy then and what joy now to think about this amazing gift—God’s plan to bring us back into a loving relationship.
Thank you, Father, for providing a way for us to come into relationship with you, one broken by our sin. Thank you for providing the depth of this gift through your written Word. Thank you that we can stand in wonder and worship with others who have also accepted this gift of atonement. Amen