Atonement is one of those words you’ll likely hear in church or see on Christian blogs. But what does it mean? Surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly) atonement is attached to a few controversies within Christianity. My goal here isn’t to exhaust those controversies but instead to simply explain what the word atonement means, as well as to give you a picture of atonement.
Simply put, the word atonement means reconciliation.
It refers to the condition of being one with others. More specifically atonement is a reference to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made in order to reconcile sinners to a holy God. Wayne Grudem summarizes this well when he says, The atonement is the work Christ did in his life and death to earn our salvation. It might be best to illustrate atonement and tell the story of atonement. Consider Mark 10:45.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” –Mark 10:45
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