Wednesday, June 18, 2008


There’s an interesting difference between the Old Testament and New Testament as far as the word “atonement.” Under the old covenant, the Hebrew word means “covering” and was specifically associated with the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant. Inside the ark was the Law and to cover it (make atonement), allowed God to “pass over” the sins of the people. Ps 32:1 “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

“Atonement” in the new covenant comes from a Greek word that does not mean “covering.” Unfortunately, some modern translations suggest this translation of the word. It literally means “reconciliation” and implies that sin was not merely covered, but removed. “He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrew 9:26). The blood of animals only covered sin, the blood of Jesus removed sin.

Just like cleaning your house, there’s a big difference between covering the mess and cleaning up the mess.

Before Jesus, sin was covered. When He died and came back from the dead, sin was removed “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).


abbie said...

What did you write this for? I've never heard the old covenant explanation of atonement with the lid covering the law inside the ark. I love to find those interesting symbolic things in the Bible. Do you think anyone would teach another Eternal Purpose class at Northwest or Brighton? I would love to take one. I have the book but I would love to hear it taught. Oh, and I think you should post your RMC articles on your blog. I want to read Church of Christ, Inc. That's a great title.

Bret Carter said...

This was from part of a sermon I presented at Castle Rock, based on material from The Eternal Purpose.