The Doctrine Of The Atonement (I Peter 1:19)

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There are so many aspects of the Christmas story that serve to illustrate Christ’s purpose in coming to earth. For instance, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God. It is fitting then that he was born in a stable and laid in a manger and that the shepherds were the first to receive the news of his birth.  
But the imagery of a lamb goes much deeper than just illustrating the humility of Christ’s birth. It goes back to the garden when God first sacrificed an animal to make a covering to replace man’s self-righteous attempt to hide his guilt and shame with fig leaves. It continues through the Passover story when the Jews sacrificed a spotless lamb and painted their doorposts with its blood so the death angel would pass over their homes, and they would be saved. It culminates with Jesus shedding His blood on the cross to atone for our sins.  
The basic meaning of the word translated “atonement” is a covering. It describes how our sins are pardoned by God, “hidden” in a sense. Our English word conveys the idea of how we have been restored to a right relationship with God. “At-one-ment” is the literal meaning of the word. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and made atonement for our sins once and for all on the cross of Calvary. It is through Him that we enter into a relationship with God, and it is through Him that that relationship remains right. Our sins are covered, and we are redeemed by “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1:19)