1 Corinthians 15:3-9 The Message (MSG)
3-9 The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me. It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.
Atonement – one of those words that contain so much meaning and depth. In short we can explain atonement this way: God has provided a way for humankind to come back into harmonious relation with him. In many ways our faith edges on this truth. Sometimes we short our faith by talking about grace, and not talking about the sacrifice of Christ.
I want to share with you this thoughts from The Canons of Dort (1618-1619):
This death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sins, of infinite value and worth, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world. This death is of such great value and worth because the person who submitted to it is not only a true and perfectly holy man, but also the only-begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for these qualifications were necessary for our Savior. Further, this death is of such great value and worth because it was accompanied by a sense of the wrath and curse of God, which we by our sins had deserved, (Second Head, Articles 3 & 4).”
I pray that all of us can understand the heart of God, God’s deep love for human kind, and that we all can respond to it daily.