Mid-week Boost
Leave a Comment

Divine Healing Is Provided in the Atonement

The ministry of the priests under the Law foreshadowed the ministry of the great High
Priest, Jesus Christ, who is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses (astheneia,
weakness, sickness, disease, timidity, infirmity)” (Hebrews 4:14,15). The Old Testament
priests, through the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices, made atonement for the sins
of the people.

An examination of the concept of atonement in the Bible shows that in most cases it
refers to a ransom price paid for redemption and restoration, which points to the
redemption through Christ accomplished by the shedding of His blood in our behalf. The
apostle Paul described it this way: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,
through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25).

The phrase, “sacrifice of atonement,” translates the Greek hilastērion, which can be also
translated expiation, propitiation, atonement, or mercy seat. Leviticus 16 records God’s
expectations for Israel’s Day of Atonement and the ministry of the high priest sprinkling
the blood of a sin offering on the atonement cover (the solid gold lid on top of the ark of
the covenant). The ark contained the stone tablets of the Law, which the people had
broken. The broken Law called for judgment and death. But when the blood of a spotless
lamb was sprinkled, prophetically anticipating the sinless life of Christ, God saw that
sinless life instead of the broken Law and could give mercy and blessing.

The primary purpose of the atonement was cleansing from sin (Leviticus 16:30). It is also
clear, however, that atonement brought release from the penalty and consequences of sin
in order to bring restoration to God’s blessing and favor. When the people of Israel
complained after the judgment that followed the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,
God sent a plague on the Israelites. Moses sent Aaron out into the midst of the
congregation, where he made atonement for them, and the plague was stopped (Numbers
16:47,48). The Law of Moses required that when the men of Israel were numbered, they
were each to give a half shekel atonement offering for their redemption and to prevent a
plague from coming upon them (Exodus 30:11–16). Atonement thus provided cleansing
from sin and its consequences, including sickness and disease.

The Bible makes it clear that people could not pay the price for their redemption, so God
out of His love and for the glory of His own name provided the ultimate atonement
(Romans 3:25; see also Psalms 65:3; 78:38; 79:9; Romans 3:21–28). All this was
accomplished through Christ at Calvary (John 3:14–16). There He made a full atonement
for the whole person. The New Testament speaks of this as redemption, which has
essentially the same meaning as atonement. Through Christ we have received redemption
and the forgiveness of sins (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews

Source: A/G Position Papers

This entry was posted in: Mid-week Boost


There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s