A Sacrifice of Atonement for the Sins of the People

Text: Hebrews 2:11-18

Reflection and Question: Jesus’ atonement on the Cross has been a flashpoint of controversy ever since a workshop leader at the Re-imagining Conference in 1993 challenged the traditional bloody image of ritual sacrifice most recently captured in Mel Gibson’s 2004 Passion of the Christ. This passage offers a different view of Jesus’ atonement: becoming one, at-one-ment, in every respect, with us, His sisters and brothers. Sharing flesh and blood with us, tested by the trials of this life as we are, is the heart of Jesus’ atonement for our sins. How do you understand Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross?

Prayer: Eternal God, You required Abraham to slay Isaac and then stayed his hand. And You condemned child sacrifice practiced by neighbors of the ancient Jews. Bless our understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice to the glory of Your name. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).