Thoughts on the greatest truth in the universe – The Atonement of Christ:
I was on My Facebook and saw that someone wrote: “Jesus paid the penalty for our sins in full.”
I wrote: The penalty for our sins was not paid in full on the cross. The penalty for our sin is eternal damnation. Christ did not experience this. The atonement is a substitute for penalty, not the penalty itself. The atonement is a means through which our penalty can be remitted. As the Bible says, without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins. You didn’t deserve crucifixion but eternal damnation. Christ did not take your punishment, but provided a substitute for your punishment. Now through His atonement, all men can be saved but they must repent and believe to receive it.
If Christ took our penalty, there is no such thing as the forgiveness of sins since all sins are punished. And if Christ took our punishment, you wouldn’t need to believe it to be saved because Jesus was already punished for your unbelief and it would be unjust to punish the same sins twice. Your debt is paid whether you believe it or not, so you would be saved whether you believe or not.
Someone else then wrote: “He drank the cup of the wrath of God.”
I said: He drank a cup of suffering, not the wrath of God. He told His two disciples that they would also drink of His cup. Did they drink the wrath of God too? And notice that the bowls of God’s wrath are still full in Revelation, so evidently Jesus did not empty them.
The atonement is a means through which God can be just even when He turns from His wrath in His mercy, but the atonement did not in and of itself satisfy or appease the wrath of God. God actually has more wrath after the atonement than before (Heb. 10:26-31).
What about Romans 5:9 which says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. In the story of the passover, the sacrifice of the Lamb did not satisfy God’s wrath but was the means by which God’s wrath could pass over them. So it is with Christ. God still has wrath for sin but because of Christ His wrath can pass over believers. Until a man is converted, they are under the wrath of God despite the atonement of Christ. When a man is converted, God in His mercy turns from His wrath because of the atonement of Christ.