Summary of passage: God granted us redemption through Jesus’s death on the cross through his blood in order to demonstrate his justice.
9) Part personal Question. My answer: To atone is to reconcile. Atonement is a cleansing of sins. It is the central doctrine of faith and can properly include all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. Jesus stands as our substitute/sacrifice that satisfies the righteous wrath of God. Without this, we’re all destined for eternal punishment. It doesn’t. I don’t need assurance. God said so. Done. God loved us so much He sent Himself (Jesus, Holy Trinity) as the only thing to justify us.
10) Part personal Question. All of our answers are mere guesses. Love. I would say God loved his creation, mankind, so much He sent His perfect Son to us to help us, guide, us, and cleanse us so we can be with Him for all of eternity. Jesus was the only perfect human and thus the only one worthy to be our final atoning sacrifice.. There are no words of thanks large enough for this.
Conclusions: I don’t like the “assured” questions. For me, I shouldn’t have to be assured of anything. If you have faith, you don’t need assurance because you don’t question or doubt. God in His mercy and love gives us proof and assurance because of our humanity. But we shouldn’t need it.
End Notes: Christ was our substitute sacrifice/atonement/propitiation so God could demonstrate His righteousness in judgment. Propitiation is in all cultures. It’s the act of appeasing the gods and the gods’s anger against mankind through a sacrifice of some kind. Aztecs, Mayas, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Native Americans, etc.
The ancient Greek word for propitiation (hilasterion) is also used in the Septuagint for the mercy seat, the lid covering the Ark of the Covenant, upon which sacrificial blood was sprinkled as an atonement for sin. While it might be said that this passage means “Jesus is our mercy seat,” it probably has the more straightforward idea of propitiation – a substitute sacrifice.
Inside the Ark of the Covenant was the evidence of man’s great sin: the tablets of law; the manna received ungratefully; the budded rod of Aaron, showing man’s rejection of God’s leadership. The Ark was decorated with golden cherubim as symbols of God’s holy presence. In between the cherubim stood the mercy seat, and as sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), God’s wrath was averted because a substitute had been slain on behalf of sinners coming by faith. Jesus is our “mercy seat,” standing between guilty sinners and the holiness of God.
God willingly gives His Son. He wants us with Him!
God no longer passed over sin with the temporary OT sacrifice of animal blood. He freed us forever from sin with Jesus’s sacrifice. Jesus paid the price.
At the cross, God demonstrated His righteousness by offering man justification (a legal verdict of “not guilty”), while remaining completely just (because the righteous penalty of sin had been paid at the cross).
Clarke states: God “Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing the sacrifice which his justice required.”