The word "atonement", derives from the Anglo - Saxon and means "a making at one". This points to a process of bringing those that are estranged into a unity.
The Oxford English Dictionary;
1) expiation, reparation for a wrong or injury.
2) the reconciliation of God and man.
The Atonement; the expiation by Christ of humankind's Sin.
Day of Atonement; = YOM KIPPUR. (JEWISH).
The first reference to the word atonement (Heb. Kaphar) in Scripture is Ex. 29:33. However, the metaphor is earlier in Gen. 6:14, where the rendering is "Pitch it", (Kopher) but is derived from Strongs Concordance 2722 with the meaning of covering; in the Gen. 6:14 example to cover to keep out the water (of judgement).
The Ex. 29:33 reference, shows that the eating of this offering atones for the sin of the eaters and puts them in a temporary state of acceptance (Grace). This allowed the Aaronic priesthood to stand at the entrance to the Tabernacle in the presence of Jehovah, and for Jehovah to sanctify the Tabernacle, and to be in the presence of His people Israel, and for them to know Jehovah as their God. It is important to note, that the sacrifices were conducted for seven days, prior to Jehovah's presence, (seven in Scripture denotes spiritual perfection, and is a mark of the work of the Holy Spirit). It is interesting to note that the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:7) takes the seven sealed scroll from the right hand of Jehovah, and it is not until the seven seals are eventually opened, that the Lord Christ Jesus returns to Earth as Messiah King.
The Mercy Seat, (Ex. 25:17) was the place that Jehovah stated (Ex. 25:22) that He would be, and communicate with His people. The Mercy Seat, with inward facing cherubim’s, was the place that the Propitiatory blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled by the officiating priest, this representing the later shed blood of Christ, for the New Covenant with the Jews, later offered to the world, (Acts 28:28). The Arc below the Mercy Seat contained the Law, and all the commandments of Jehovah (Ex. 25:11).
The system of sacrifices was ordained by Jehovah, to cover in a continuous way for the fact of the breaking of the Law continuously by the Jews. The blood sacrifices were a forerunner and symbol of the eventual ultimate sacrifice of Jehovah's only Begotten Son Jesus Christ outside the City (Jerusalem) wall at Golgotha. In that one act Christ became the Exodus type Sacrificial Lamb for the Jews, and would have replaced the continual sacrifice offering for the people of Israel, as their looked for Messiah. Thus Christ became The ATONEMENT and at the same time the promised New Covenant symbol (Jer. 31:31) (Heb. 8:8-12) (Heb. 10:16-17) & (Mt. 26:28). The Jews rejected Him and are yet in their miserable Lo-Ammi state (Hos. 1:9-10). Due to that rejection, the gift of Christ in God, is offered to all the world, for a limited period (Acts 28:28). In the future the Jews will see Him whom they pierced (Zech. 12:10), and will realise that their misleading Shepherds (Rabbis) and the Yom-Kippur, were all fictions of the great enemy of Jehovah (Satan), and great will be their mourning.
At that stage the Lord (Christ - Messiah), will return to Earth, and as THE rejected ATONEMENT, He will be present in Jerusalem and in the Temple showing the wounds of hand and feet and pierced side as a constant reminder to (His Friends) Israel, and the world's surviving peoples of HIS earlier REJECTION (Zech. 13:6). As it is clear from Scripture that the sacrifices for sin, etc. are reintroduced during the Millennial reign of Christ (Ezek. 41 & 42), the great and precious gift of Atonement and Salvation in Christ's Body and into Christ's Body, is no longer available to the world's people and that offer closed at the end of the Age of Grace. It is clear from Scripture that Israel's sin and trespass is dealt with by the priests of Israel (Zadok of Levi decent) (Isa. 61:6). However, regarding the rest of the world’s peoples Scripture says little, other than to say that people will want to visit the New Temple in Jerusalem, where Jehovah / Christ resides, for prayer to Jehovah God (Zech. 8:22-23) and brief comments in (Isa. 56:6-8) and (61:5), where the will of Gentile peoples to pray and serve Jehovah will not be ignored, and also they will acknowledge the Jews. In that day (Millennial), Jerusalem shall be known worldwide as, "the city of truth, the mountain of Jehovah Zebaoth (God of all the world), the holy mountain", (Zech. 8:3).
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