Atonement


#1

Hi all,

We read in Scripture and are taught in the Catechism that Jesus’ death on the Cross for our sins was an atonement.

What does this mean?

Does it include the concept that He bore the wrath of God against our sins? I’ve mentioned this to some people, Catholic and Protestant, who’ve had a, shall I say, contrary reaction to this idea. “There is no way that the Father would do that to His Son.” The idea that the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus for our sins is abhorrent to these people.

Yet, some translations of the word atoning have a side note that says, “turning aside God’s wrath” or “the One who turned aside God’s wrath.” In doing this, doesn’t it mean that He would have to bear the wrath Himself?

The idea here is not that the Father poured out His wrath against His Son but against the sins that He was bearing. In Himself, Jesus was sinless, of course. But as our sinbearer, he paid the penalty we deserve.

I’ve looked this up in the Catechism and it says that His death was an atoning death but doesn’t go much beyond that.

Please help me out on this.

Thanks and blessings to you all,

Gene


#2

Have you considered the etymology of the term, atonement? It comes from “at one”.


#3

[quote=Gene C.]We read in Scripture and are taught in the Catechism that Jesus’ death on the Cross for our sins was an atonement.

What does this mean?
[/quote]

It means that Jesus expiated our sins and reconciled us back to God.

Does it include the concept that He bore the wrath of God against our sins?

No.

I’ve mentioned this to some people, Catholic and Protestant, who’ve had a, shall I say, contrary reaction to this idea. “There is no way that the Father would do that to His Son.” The idea that the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus for our sins is abhorrent to these people.

As it should be. The Father did not punish His Son for our sins that would make Him an abomination.

Yet, some translations of the word atoning have a side note that says, “turning aside God’s wrath” or “the One who turned aside God’s wrath.” In doing this, doesn’t it mean that He would have to bear the wrath Himself?

No, it means that God’s wrath ceased once our sins were expiated.

The idea here is not that the Father poured out His wrath against His Son but against the sins that He was bearing. In Himself, Jesus was sinless, of course. But as our sinbearer, he paid the penalty we deserve.

No you have it wrong. Jesus neither had our sins transferred to Him nor was He punished in our place by the Father. Jesus was a sin offering. His blood purified us of the defilement of sin.


#4

The simple answer is not that Christ was subject to God’s wrath, but that through His own power, He united human suffering to a redemptive act.


#5

There is a sense in which the guilt of the perpetrator is proportionate to the innocence of the victim.

For example, our conscience confirms that it is especially wrong to harm a vulnerable person.

Mankind habitually commits offenses against God, who is infinitely blameless. Therefore our fault is in a sense infinite; we can not possible atone for such guilt. God came to earth as man and received punishment on behalf of all of mankind.


#6

The original Hebrew **καταλλαγή **or the derivation **καταλλάσσω occurs 10 times in the KJV, and **in every case but 1 it really means a reconciliation.

See Romans 5:11 in KJV: “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”



#7

Hi Chesster,

I ask you to consider the following sections from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, especially the underlined passages:

608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover. Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

612 The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus anticipated when he offered himself at the Last Supper, is afterwards accepted by him from his Father’s hands in his agony in the garden at Gethsemani, making himself “obedient unto death”. Jesus prays: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. . .” Thus he expresses the horror that death represented for his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is destined for eternal life; but unlike ours, it is perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death. Above all, his human nature has been assumed by the divine person of the “Author of life”, the “Living One”. By accepting in his human will that the Father’s will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.”

613 Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”, and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.

615 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who “makes himself an offering for sin”, when “he bore the sin of many”, and who “shall make many to be accounted righteous”, for “he shall bear their iniquities”. Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father.445

616 It is love “to the end” that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. Now “the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.” No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. the existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.


Isn’t it apparent from these passages that Christ bore OUR sins on the Cross? What do you think?

Blessings,
Gene


#8

Hi Chesster,

I ask you to consider the following sections from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, especially the underlined passages:

608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover. Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

612 The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus anticipated when he offered himself at the Last Supper, is afterwards accepted by him from his Father’s hands in his agony in the garden at Gethsemani, making himself “obedient unto death”. Jesus prays: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. . .” Thus he expresses the horror that death represented for his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is destined for eternal life; but unlike ours, it is perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death. Above all, his human nature has been assumed by the divine person of the “Author of life”, the “Living One”. By accepting in his human will that the Father’s will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.”

613 Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”, and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.

615 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who “makes himself an offering for sin”, when “he bore the sin of many”, and who “shall make many to be accounted righteous”, for “he shall bear their iniquities”. Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father.445

616 It is love “to the end” that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. Now “the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.” No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. the existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.


Isn’t it apparent from these passages that Christ bore OUR sins on the Cross? What do you think?

Blessings,
Gene


#9

Isn’t it apparent from these passages that Christ bore OUR sins on the Cross? What do you think?

Gene, Christ did not literally bear our sins. The Father did not take our sins and heap them on His Son and then punish Him instead of us. What Christ “bore” was the burden of expiating our sins.

Notice that CCC 615 says, ". . . who ‘makes himself an offering for sin’, when ‘he bore the sin of many’ . . . "

A sin offering did not have sins transferred to it because that would have contaminated the sacrificial victim. Likewise Jesus, being the atonement sacrifice, was not a scapegoat. In fact, if you look at the book of Hebrews it compares Jesus to the goat that was sacrificed to God on the Day of Atonement. If Jesus bore our sins the way the scapegoat did then Hebrews would have mentioned it, however it doesn’t. Furthermore, the New Testament nowhere compares Jesus to the scapegoat and with good reason, because Jesus did not bear our sins the way the scapegoat did.


#10

Hi Chesster,

I thought your name was Chester but misspelled it. I just looked up your profile…ha,ha…I get it!

I see that you’ve posted on this subject on other threads so I’ve decided to read through them first before coming back. Please be patient. (As a chess player, I guess you have plenty of patience.)

Also, I like the Cor Unum Web site you linked to in another post. It is hosted by CIN. I’d like to bookmark CIN but I can’t seem to find Cor Unum on it. Can you tell me how to get there from The CIN home page?

Thanks and blessings,
Gene


#11

Chesster,

I’m still confused after reading through the Substitutionary Atonement thread. Would you mind quoting your sources, i.e., Scripture, Fathers, Councils, Papal decrees, etc. If this is a dogma, I’d like to pin it down rather than just believe what somebody is telling me. (Please don’t be offended. I think you can appreciate my determination.)

Thanks,
Gene


#12

[quote=Gene C.]Hi Chesster,

I thought your name was Chester but misspelled it. I just looked up your profile…ha,ha…I get it!

I see that you’ve posted on this subject on other threads so I’ve decided to read through them first before coming back. Please be patient. (As a chess player, I guess you have plenty of patience.)

Also, I like the Cor Unum Web site you linked to in another post. It is hosted by CIN. I’d like to bookmark CIN but I can’t seem to find Cor Unum on it. Can you tell me how to get there from The CIN home page?

Thanks and blessings,
Gene
[/quote]

From the CIN home page click on "Link Directory"
Then click on "Apologetics"
Then scroll down to “Corunum Apologetic”

Your welcome.


#13

[quote=Gene C.]Chesster,

I’m still confused after reading through the Substitutionary Atonement thread. Would you mind quoting your sources, i.e., Scripture, Fathers, Councils, Papal decrees, etc. If this is a dogma, I’d like to pin it down rather than just believe what somebody is telling me. (Please don’t be offended. I think you can appreciate my determination.)

Thanks,
Gene
[/quote]

I’m sorry but I haven’t been feeling well. Can you link to the thread you have in mind?


#14

Chesster,

Thanks for the navigation advice to the Cor Unum site. And please rest up and take care of yourself. I’m going to start another thread soon based on my new research.

Blessings,
Gene


#15

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