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Atonement Is in Our Blood

In a sermon on the Atonement, Will Anderson used the following illustration:

Food demonstrates how everyone benefits from a form of atonement, whether they acknowledge it or not. Everything we eat—whether plant or animal—was once alive. It had to be plucked from the tree, pulled from the earth, or slaughtered in order to sustain you. Every meal is a testament to the fact that other things must die, if you are to live.

Most people who regularly enjoy a juicy burger or steak have never looked into the eyes of the animal that gave its life for their sustenance. The realities of the slaughterhouse are unseen and unthought of by most consumers—we reap the benefits without considering the cost. It’s hypocritical to caricature the Cross as needlessly cruel while benefiting from atonement at the dinner table every day.

Some may object: It’s one thing to kill an animal, but another entirely for God to (sacrifice) his Son. Yes, it’s true that the Cross is horrific. And yet Christ willingly embraced it, which should fill us with trembling and humility, not disgust.

Something stirs our souls when we watch someone willingly die for another—it moves and breaks us simultaneously. Why? It’s because our souls were formed by a Creator who sacrificed himself for us. We may deny atonement with our heads, but our hearts can’t be fooled.


Will Anderson; “Atonement is In Our Blood,” The Gospel Coalition (9-8-21)

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