June 2024 Blog

June is the month we normally celebrate Father’s Day in the USA. I do not know about other countries. However, Our Father’s day is all about being thankful for all the things dad has done for us as we grew up and still are growing.

This month, I would also like to focus on our Heavenly Father. We know our earthly father and can easily recall the blessings and we know why we celebrate him on his day…so do so and be glad.

However, our Heavenly Father’s Day is not restricted to one day a year. His day is eternal and goes from everlasting to everlasting. We created the day for our earthly dads, but God created us to celebrate him and enjoy his life every day.

The Bible says, “This is the day the Lord has made, and we shall rejoice and be glad in it.” It is our heritage to rejoice and be glad every day. Do not allow anyone to steal your joy or take away your glad tidings. God is for us. He is not our enemy.

So what should we praise our Heavenly Father for? Try this one for size. Howa about our eternal redemption? The story of the atonement is the story of our redemption. It shows the greatness of God’s love for us and the extent to which he went to make it happen. This is why we celebrate and are glad every day.

The Bible’s central message is atonement, that is to say, that God has provided a way for humanity to come back into harmony with him. This is apparent everywhere in Scripture. From the first stories in Genesis to the last visions of Revelation, God seeks to reconcile the world to Himself.

In the Old Testament, atonement, and related phrases, such as sacrifice of atonement, most often translate to “mercy-seat” or the place where the sacrifice of atonement happens. These occur with meanings related to atonement around 140 times.

Certainly, the most frequent mention of atonement in the Old Testament were the blood sacrifices. Atonement is clearly the action of God and not of man. The restoring of a pure relationship is an important result since the atonement is for all “uncleanness and rebellion. (Lev 16:16 ). Thus, the atoning sacrifice restores a pure relationship between man and God.

The full Biblical picture is found in Jesus, the Christ. He is the spotless Lamb of God. He is the sacrifice. The author of Hebrews emphasizes this point to make clear his doctrine of the purity of Christ as both the true and perfect sacrifice.

The Old Testament sacrifices are shadows of the real sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Those sacrifices were the blood of bulls and goats. Like the shadows, they could never truly pay for the offense of human sin or substitute for the shedding of human blood.

The Gospel of Mark (10:45; and the parallel saying at Matt 20:28), offers a bit more insight into the atonement. Speaking in the context of the apostles’ dispute over which of them is the greatest, Jesus relates his mission. Two things become apparent: (1) Serving all peoples. (2) Giving his life as a ransom for many.

Like many of the teachings of Jesus, the saying dramatically extends the answer to an immediate question (that of the selfishness and pride of the apostles) to include something that no one would have linked to that answer (the ransom nature of the cross). The saying primarily relates the death of Christ to the metaphor of service; giving his life is the greatest example of servanthood that can ever be imagined. The death of Jesus as a ransom for sin links the idea of atonement to the servant spirit of the Christ. Jesus sacrificed himself to save those who believed in him. Those who believe in him receive all the benefits that come with the plan. (John 3:16) tells us:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” We can see by what Jesus said in this verse that there are two benefits of his death, burial and resurrection are a pardon from death and life eternal (will not perish and everlasting life.)

We should note that the meaning of “Everlasting” is life without end. That only happens in God. His life never ends, and he alone is life. Without him, there is no life. So having everlasting life is to be connected to the life-giver. Thus, when we, as Christians, are “In Him” we are connected by faith, which is the same as believing.

I know you may question my premise and might feel that this looks like a limited grace designed for an elect few However, that is not what I mean. The call is open to WHOSOEVER WILL, which encompasses all of humanity. The sad part about it is that there will be only a select few that accept the invitation. They refer them as a “Remnant”. That Remnant will still be millions because they have been gathered from every country, every walk of life, and every century.

Listed below are some other benefits of atonement.

1. Justification…Man’s sinful nature began in the Garden of Eden through Adam. It is through this genetic lineage we are forever cursed to be separated from God. But God had a plan to correct this sinfulness and the separation from him through the atonement of sin, and avoiding the rightful and just punishment. Romans 5:18 reveals the truth…. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. Galatians 2:16… knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

2. Reconciliation…Being reconciled to God is to return to a friendship with our Creator. By reconciliation, we return to that ability to walk with God as Adam walked with God in the Garden. We once again have a personal relationship with the Father through the Son. Rom 5:10… For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

3. Adoption… Another aspect of the Atonement is our becoming adopted heirs of the inheritance God has promised. God adopts every one of us who puts their trust in the Lord Yeshua and His sacrifice. receive the adoption as sons” Eph 1:5… Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will,

4. Sanctification…Sanctification, to be sanctified, made holy. This occurs only through the Atonement, which was made by the death of Jesus, the Messiah. It is through his death we are once again made pure in the sight of God the Father; we are then worthy of entering the righteous Kingdom of Heaven.

5. Access to God… As mentioned before, once again, we can approach God and speak to him as children to their father. Only through the shed blood of Jesus, the Christ, did this become possible. Eph 2:18… For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

6. The removal of the Fear of Death…One of the most famous Biblical quotes is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son to the end that all who believe in him shall not die but have everlasting life” This exemplifies the removal of death. We know from the fact of the Resurrection that death has no more power over us. We know that no one or anything can destroy our souls, and Jesus, the Messiah, guarantees our eternal future.

7. A Glorious Inheritance…By becoming an heir through Jesus’ sacrifice, we then also become heirs of his kingdom. God does not break his promises or covenants. That alone should be a comfort to all believers, (as well as to those who are seeking to believe).

Is there any question that we should be thankful to our Heavenly Father for our redemption? This is the gospel message and why we should believe in Jesus and follow his teachings. He was sacrificed for us. His blood was shed in place of ours. His life was lived perfectly and given to us so we can live in him.

So, this month, let us not wait for a specific day to give thanks to our Heavenly Father. Let us rather appreciate his work of redemption and his love for us. The atonement is the best blessing that ever happened. However, God has many more blessing for those who pray and seek his will.

Until next time…be safe and give thanks
Rev. John Marinelli, Author & publisher
[email protected]