Why does atonement even matter? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross in order to save us? In this video, Joshua McNall explains how the doctrine of atonement reveals the depth of our human predicament. Jesus’s work on the cross is thus reinforced, illumined, and even demanded by other key Christian doctrines, including total depravity, which suggests that there isn’t a single area of our lives not affected by sin. It is total also in the sense that we are dead in our trespasses and are unable to spiritually revive ourselves.
Furthermore, the doctrine of original sin means all people are born having a bent toward sinning. It is not taught nor learned, but simply exists within our nature. This is further proof that we cannot save ourselves—we require someone outside ourselves to deal with our sin problem, both in its penalty and its power.
As the Bible describes it, the depth of our problems, which Jesus’s atonement deals with, can be further illustrated by four human predicaments:
1) Death in all of its forms, including physical, spiritual, and eternal;
2) The devil, as understood biblically, which is to say he is a real being, though not on equal footing with God;
3) The reality of sin, both in its personal and systemic dimensions;
4) Shame, which relates to our identity as persons, but which can’t simply be overpowered or defeated, but must be shared in.
What Jesus accomplished for us becomes increasingly clear when we appreciate the seriousness of our problems. It also makes Jesus all the more beautiful, compelling, and worthy of our worship.
This video from How Jesus Saves: Atonement for Ordinary People by Joshua McNall addresses this great Christian doctrine—atonement—with simplicity without sacrificing the nuance this topic demands.
- College or Young Adult Ministry
- Small groups
- Neighborhood Bible studies
- Sunday School
In these pages you will:
- Come to understand the meaning of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection
- Engage with a book that is highly readable and written in ordinary language
- Appreciate the goodness, beauty, and truth of God vis-a-vis atonement doctrine