Post image for Atonement

by Denise Marie Siino on September 30, 2014

Have you ever read the book of Leviticus?  All those “offerings” (burnt offering, sin offering, trespass offering, etc.) sound bloody and cold.  Even though there are several names for these different offerings, they all boil down to “sin”…that ugly archaic 3-letter word that has no place in a modern society.  Or if it does it should be like the Scarlet Letter, attached to garb worn by murderers and child molesters and senior citizen embezzlers.  I look pretty good in comparison…no need for blood splattered on me, thank you very much.

But then again.

Thanks to the miracle of Facebook technology, I recently came across an old friend from eons ago.  A past existence.  He was a mere teen then, but his life was already being stripped and scarred by the devastation of his circumstances.  Just like Paul said in Romans 8:22, his life already groaned under the weight of sin.  That was then.  Now…a train wreck.  Rubbled ruins.  Tragedy.

Reading (in one sitting) this man’s posts over the course of several months, the truth dawned on me.  Not like a sunbeam, fresh and white and beautiful, but terrible like a gleaming dagger whose blade has caught the pale light of a blood moon.  Sin is not some choice only the wicked have embraced.  Sin is a cancer that eats ALL bone and flesh.  My old friend has it…a good man caught in the grips of something distorting and sad.  I want to say I have no part in his beleaguered story, but maybe I do, the way the past played out.  Surely I do in the sense that this cancer is present at birth.  A defect passed through the spiritual DNA.  A legacy I do not want but which followed me through the birth canal nevertheless.  I cannot escape it (more accurately, I have not escaped it), and neither can or have or will you.

What is the remedy to sin?  Atonement, the old-fashioned kind.  The blood of a lamb.  Moses understood this when God explained to him what all those sin offerings were for (the instructions of which Moses so carefully inscribed in Leviticus).  John the Baptist understood this when he looked at Jesus – God’s Messiah – and proclaimed, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, begins at sunset this coming Friday.  A day I respect as the foreshadowing of the once-and-for-all sacrifice Jesus would make for me—to cleanse me of sin and rid me of the cancer that eats me alive.

You don’t have to be Jewish to take part in God’s great Day of Atonement, which we Christians claim as Good Friday, the day Christ died to take away the sins of the world.  Just come before the living Lamb of God at the altar of your heart, bow your head and confess your sin, so that He can cleanse you and make you whole.

See you at the altar.

Bookmark and Share


Resonating with God

September 6, 2014
Thumbnail image for Resonating with God

I recently purchased for the first time a set of Augustine classical guitar strings.  Upon installing them on my guitar, I immediately noticed that when playing an A on the third string, the 5th open A string would also resonate.  This phenomenon also occurred with other notes.  At first I thought I’d gotten a bad [...]

Read the full article →

Faith and Unbelief

July 17, 2014
Thumbnail image for Faith and Unbelief

In her book “The White Album,” local born journalist and essayist Joan Didion wrote: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live….  We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five.  We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices.  We [...]

Read the full article →

Rules of the Game

June 9, 2014
Thumbnail image for Rules of the Game

Steve Coburn’s tirade on Saturday about the unfairness of allowing horses that hadn’t run in either the Derby or the Preakness to run in the Belmont (his excuse for why his horse, California Chrome, didn’t win the Triple Crown) got me to thinking about human suffering, and the God who allows it.  Weird, huh? But [...]

Read the full article →

Death of a Writer

May 13, 2014
Thumbnail image for Death of a Writer

One of my favorite authors died last month.  Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian-born journalist and author.  My introduction to him came in my World Lit I class at Chapman University when we read “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” followed the next year (World Lit II) by “Love in the Time of Cholera.”  On my [...]

Read the full article →

Christ has risen…He has risen indeed!!!

April 18, 2014
Thumbnail image for Christ has risen…He has risen indeed!!!

Christ has risen…He has risen indeed! This declaration and response resounds throughout Christendom on Easter Sunday…a day I look forward to each year.  While the Christmas season holds special meaning for Christians worldwide, Jesus did not ask us to remember His birth.  But He did ask us to remember His death, burial and resurrection, which [...]

Read the full article →

World Vision and Same Sex Marriage

March 27, 2014
Thumbnail image for World Vision and Same Sex Marriage

Many readers have followed with interest this week’s announcement by World Vision to allow married partners of the same sex to work in the organization (whose headquarters is in Washington state, which approved same-sex marriage in 2012), and then promptly reversed its decision two days later.  It seems that churches are not the only entities [...]

Read the full article →