Michael Hardin on the Bible & Atonement

Around minute 53, Hardin makes a really great point. During the original Holy Week, Jesus is seen as the “lamb that takes away the sin of the world.” The thing is, in Judaism, Yom Kippur is seen as the day when the people received atonement for sin (not Passover), and there is never a time when a lamb takes away sin – it’s always two goats.

So in becoming the lamb that takes away the world’s sin, Jesus changes the way we view sacrifice, and how atonement works. Instead of a reinforcement of the old system of sacrifice, where we need a scapegoat to take our blame, Jesus takes on humanity’s violence and retribution, and offers peace and forgiveness in return.

This is the beauty of atonement in Christianity – not that God is vengeful and needs to settle the cosmic score (so to speak), but that God takes on our need for retributive violence and says “No more.”

Michael Hardin on the Bible & Atonement

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