Posted By Thomas Perez. March 21, 2013 at 1:03am. Copyright 2013.
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”(Hebrews 9:22)
The Greek word haima (Hi-mah) appears in various forms, some 99 times in the Greek New Testament. Many English derivatives will be familiar: hematology (the study of blood), hemorrhage (a flow of blood), hemoglobin, etc. Given the centrality of bloodshed – essential for the forgiveness of sins in both testaments (Leviticus 1:3-4, Hebrews 9:22) – this is a good word to recognize, especially if you are working with interlinears or are a student of Greek.
Question: Is Blood a Required Prerequisite for Atonement?
Obviously the New Testament is not silent concerning the matter. The central theme of Christianity and the New Testament (NT) is the sacrificial offering of the blood of ‘Jesus Christ’ as atonement for the sins of the entire world. The blood of ‘Jesus was shed in our stead and is the only means of atonement for sin. Is this claim truly consistent with The Holy Scriptures (Old Testament)?
Christians claim that the absolute need for blood is rooted in the Law of Moses (the Torah). Traditionally they will often cite the book of Leviticus as proof: “And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who consumes any blood, I will set My face against that person who consumes blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. Therefore, I say to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall consume blood, nor shall any stranger who sojourns among you consume blood.'” (Lev 17:11)
Moreover, Christians would often cite NT passages of Scripture, often teaching the following such as;
1. Salvation is Only Through Christ:
Rom 3:24, Galatians 3:13, Rom 6:23, Col 1:14, Titus 2:13-14, John 14:6, Acts 4:12
2. Only Through the Blood of Christ:
Rom 5:9, Col 1:20, Hebrews 9:14, 9:22, I Pet 1:18-19, I John 1:7, Rev 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 21:11
3. Thus Causing Us to be Justified by Faith:
Acts 16:31, John 1:12, 3:16-18, 26, 26, 28, 10:9-13, Rom 5:1-2, Galatians 2:16, I Pet 1:8-9, Hebrews 11:1-6
4. Through the Means of Grace:
Rom 3:22-24, 5:1-2, 6:23, 11:6, Eph 2:8-9, Titus 2:11, Rom 6:23, 11:6, II Cor 5:7-8, Galatians 3:26
This is the central theme of Christianity and the New Testament. Christians often see Jesus as that sacrificial Lamb of God without blemish.
However many today deny a sacrificial vicarious offering for sin through the person of Jesus Christ, often citing;
1.“That the overall linguistics of the Bible denies a substitutionary sin offering.”
2. Many would often cite that the “Old and New Testament, and Jesus Himself, all contradicted each other concerning atonement”.
3. Some may even go a step further, using the story of Abraham and Isaac at Moriah as an example of God “not really intending a sacrificial death of any son, or Son of God for that matter – citing, “since God spared Abraham’s son, should He not spare His own?”
4. Some may go even further and proclaim, “People act like it makes perfect sense for an infinitely compassionate God to require the death of an innocent before he can forgive people!”
5. And last but not least, many would also often cite; “Why does something/someone pure and innocent have to die in order for God to forgive sins?” Was God unable to forgive people’s sins until He saw a sinless man die a torturous death, which somehow appeased him enough to forgive everyone?
All of these questions and per-suppositions are valuable. Valuable in the sense that it opens the door to further understanding of what seems to be an apparent lack of knowledge concerning the Scriptures as a whole (both Old and New Testaments).
Let Us Now Deal With Pre-Supposition Number 1.
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or sub-fields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context.
Language Form: Is simply the language something was written in.
Language Meaning: is concerned with logical structures and real-world references to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. Ambiguity in words, pictures, or other media, is the ability to express more than one interpretation. It is generally contrasted with vagueness. While vagueness is the difficulty to form any interpretation at the desired level of specificity.
Language Context: is verbal context to surrounding text or talk of an expression.
Social Contexts: are defined in terms of objective social variables, such as those of class, gender or race. It is the audience.
Multidisciplinary Theory: of social context and shows that relevant properties of social situations can only influence language use as subjective definitions of the situation by the participants, as represented and ongoingly updated in specific mental models of language users
Influence: The basic assumption here is that language users adapt the properties of their language use (such as intonation, lexical choice, syntax, and other aspects of formulation) to the current communicative situation. In this sense, language use or discourse may be called more or less ‘appropriate’ in a given context.
Berkeley Mickelsen cited that the “Neglect of context is a common cause of erroneous interpretation.”
What is Context? Here are some definitions:
A. “That which surrounds and gives meaning to something else.”
B. “The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.” (www.dictionary.com)
C. “Context refers to that which goes before and that which follows after.” (Howard Hendricks, Living By The Book, 225).
D. “When we speak of the context, we are talking about the connection of thought that runs through a passage, those links that weave it into one piece (Walter C. Kaiser, Toward An Exegetical Theology, 71.)
Tips for Determining the Context of a Word or Phrase
Keep in mind that words do not have inherent meanings.
A. Ex. World The term “world” (cosmos) can mean: (1) the world of people (John 3:16); (2) the physical planet (John 17:5); or (3) the organized system of evil in opposition to God.
B. Ex. Saved and Salvation Depending on their contexts, these words can refer to (1) Israel’s deliverance from her enemies (Luke 1:71); (2) deliverance from physical danger (Acts 27:20; Matt. 24:13?); deliverance from physical sickness (James 5:15); and deliverance from sin (John 3:17).
C. Ex. Spirit The word “spirit” (pneuma) is used in a variety of ways in the New Testament. It refers to wind (John 3:8), the life breath (Rev. 11:11), the immortal nature of a man (John 6:63), the perfected spirit of a saint in heaven (Hebrews 12:23), demons (Matt. 10:1; Luke 4:36) and the Holy Spirit of God (John 4:24; Matt. 28:19). In John 3:8 the word pneuma is used twice in the same context to refer to natural wind and the Holy Spirit.
Examine the paragraph or chapter context “The context of the paragraph or chapter is sometimes helpful in clarifying a word, phrase, or sentence that is not made clear in the sentence in which it is used.”
A. Ex. Temple Jesus. In John 2:19, spoke of destroying “this temple.” What is this temple Jesus was speaking of? Verse 21 explains that the temple was Jesus’ own body.
B. Ex. Fire. In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist states, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Is this a fire of judgment or a fire of zealous commitment to God? Since verses 10 and 12 are speaking of judgment, the reference to “fire” in verse 11 is probably referring to the fires of judgment. Ultimate Reconciliationists would have a field day with this interpretation, for it reveals the purging of God as a Refiners Fire – a belief I favor.
C. E.i., Seeing the Kingdom. What did Jesus mean when He said to His disciples, “There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28). The fulfillment of this promise came in the following chapter with the Transfiguration. Jesus gave Peter, James and John a preview of the kingdom that would be established at Jesus’ second coming. Etc, etc…
Knowing this information, how can one justify a ms-understanding of the worded Language Context?, “I lay my life down for my sheep” “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” “For He (the Son of Man) shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted upon” “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world”, etc. etc.
Some may cite “well the Scriptural citations noted above are in contradiction to the overall Social Contexts”. But I say if that were the case then those who question the objectivity of the Atonement simply do not see or do not apply the objective social variables as given to the audience of that time. Thus they fail in their exegesis of Scripture as a whole.
Other Means of Atonement
Many claim that in the Old Testament there are many ways an individual can acquire the means of atonement without a “blood sacrifice/atonement”. In other words, they would cite other means of atonement, such as:
“And Moses said unto Aaron, ‘Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.’ And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.” (Num 16:46-47)
“We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord.” Num 31:50)
Some proclaim that according to the Bible, blood sacrifices held only limited atonement capabilities. Foremost among it’s limitations was that blood sacrifices were only brought for unintentional sins. If a person committed some sin out of ignorance, such as doing work on the Sabbath when perhaps they mistakenly thought it was Sunday, then atonement could be made through a sacrificial sin offering. According to some, sacrifices did not help to atone for sins that were done intentionally. Notice the instructions to the priests concerning this:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for a sin offering. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock before the Lord. And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation “Lev 4:1-7)
Moreover Leviticus 5 continues on to say
“And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the Lord; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering” (Lev 5:7)
“But if his means are insufficient for two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then for his offering for that which he has sinned, he shall bring the tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall not put oil on it or place incense on it, for it is a sin offering.” (Lev 5:11).
“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me says the lord? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed cattle. And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats…Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless , defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come let us reason together says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they will be like wool, if you consent and obey…”(Isaiah 1:11-18).
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 15:8).
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3)
“For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of [Elohiym] rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6).
“Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken more than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22)
“With what shall I come to the Lord, and bow myself before the [Elohiym] on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:6-8)
“When [Elohiym] saw their deeds that they turned from their wicked way, then [Elohiym] relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” (Jonah 3:10).
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the lord. Say to Him, ‘Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, for we will render as bullocks the offerings of our lips’.” (Hosea 14:1-2) Did not Jesus say, “It is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out”.
“Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O Lord, the [Elohiym] of my salvation. And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not delight in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of [Elohiym] are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. These, O [Elohiym], You will not despise.” (Psalms 51:14-17)”
“I will praise the name of [Elohiym] with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that has horns and hoofs.” (Psalm 69:30-31)
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in loving kindness to all who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord to my prayer, and give heed to the voice of my supplications.” (Psalm 86:5-6)
“And listen to the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place; hear from heaven Your dwelling place, hear and forgive.” (II Chronicles 6:21)
“Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: Redeem your sins by doing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.” (Daniel 4:27).
When reading the above citations in Exodus and Leviticus, it will appear that the Lord is declaring different methods for acquiring atonement. And that is accurate! Yes, there are different means of acquiring atonement in the OT. And as such, that would make the New Testaments objectivity of the Atonement in Christ either null, void, or vague. But since we are dealing with linguistics and its applications then we ought to deal with its vagueness. But if we were to take a vague approach to the Atonement of Christ as found in the NT then we would be rejecting what is obvious and objective to the context of Jesus statements concerning Himself and the statements made of Him by Peter and Paul, etc. Our denial of a substitutionary offering does not hold water when proper linguistics is applied.
We Come Now to Pre-Supposition Numbers 2 and 3. Since God Spared Abraham’s Son, Should He Not Spare His Own? Did Jesus Contradict Himself Concerning the Teaching of Atonement?
Now it would appear that Jesus contradicted Himself on many occasions, such as;
In Luke 10:25-28 we find an expert in the law who stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Is that true? If you do this, will you have eternal life? Actually some would say it is not true. In Luke 18:18-22 Jesus says: A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.” “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
The answers in Luke 10 and Luke 18 are totally different. Does this clearly mean that Jesus is making this stuff up as he goes along?
And what about Matthew 18:2-3: He called a little child and had him stand among them. And [Jesus] said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
And in Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says this: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”.
This is getting absurd, isn’t it? Pharisees and scribes are adults, not children.
Then in John 6:53-58 we find an additional requirement: Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Does this totally contradict what Jesus just told the two guys in Luke 10 and Luke 18?
In John 3:3-8 Jesus says: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (vs16)
So which is it? What do you have to do to have eternal life and go to heaven? There are probably 15 other stipulations scattered throughout the Bible. There is no way to know which is right, and many claim that they all contradict each other. Now that you have looked at all this stuff, you may wonder, Jesus had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Or did He?
O.k…Now that we have seen the apparent contradictions, let us look for solutions. “Oh my goodness,” there are plenty solutions – we’ve just read them in Exodus and Leviticus. Read the verses below carefully. Jesus is reiterating the essence of the holy prophets before Him and that of the Torah at the same time – the very heart of the Torah.
In Luke 10:25-28 Jesus is reiterating Micah 6:6-8, Deut 6:4-5, etc.
In Luke 18:18-22 Jesus is reiterating Lev 23:22, Deut 15:11, Dan 4:27, etc.
In Matt 18:2-3 Jesus is reiterating Psa 131:1-2, Pro 23:24, Eccl 4:13, etc.
In Matt 5:17-20 Jesus is reiterating Psa 1:1-2, Pro 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 19:20-21, etc.
In John 6:53 Jesus is reiterating Lev 3:6, 7:11-17, Num 18:8-12, etc.
In John 3:3-8, 16 Jesus is reiterating Himself as God in the flesh as predicted by the prophet Ezekiel.
So yes, there are many ways to atone for one’s sins, but even in the midst of ritualistic diversities Jesus (and the Apostles after Him) applied what is considered “The Social Context” – Audience Relevant!
Which Brings Me to Pre-Supposition Number 4.
In Jeremiah 3:8 God had divorced Israel and Judah, Moreover, God had said in the Torah, that even we can’t remarry once we are divorced. Thus we have a dilemma. How can God marry the backsliding harlot Israel, when she slept with many? Can a woman marry another? Yes, if the husband dies (Rom 7:1-2). But God never dies. Therefore, wouldn’t God be breaking His own commandments, if He was to marry her (Israel)? No, not if He provides Himself in death. The Scriptures reveal that the Husband did die – for He died for His Bride, as verses 3 and 4 indicates in Romans 7. And He is raised from the dead, so that we should bring forth fruits onto God. This is why Ezekiel made the prophecy of God sacrificing His own Life (Ezek 39:17-21) after Jeremiah’s declaration of divorce. Remember Ezekiel prophesied during 4 different periods 593-588 B.C, after Jeremiah 7th & 6th cent. 626 – 586 B.C. Now the obvious question one might ask is…“Did Christ Jesus only come for the Israelites?” Answer – All can be grafted in as Exodus 12:48-49 reveals. For we are all circumcised of the heart. And eventually all will be grafted (I Tim 4:10). This is the Gospel!
The Gospel is That Which Brings Me to Pre-Supposition Number 5.
The vagueness of the sacrifice is adjacent to its objective in the overall social context of the audience relevant. In other words the Jews needed a sacrifice of some sort, in any sort, as described in and by the OT rituals. Such rituals included
A. Burnt Offerings – This was done by an offering of a male bull, sheep (lamb), goats, fowls (pigeons or turtle-doves) upon the alter and/or around it. Some would argue, “Jesus could not be the proper sacrifice since He didn’t shed His blood upon or around the alter”
This is not a proper understanding of “method presentation”. It also doesn’t take into account that the Ark of the Covenant was never recovered after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Nor does it take into account the citation of Jeremiah 3:16 or I Kings 8:27, II Chron 2:6, 6:18.
In animal sacrifices, the animal was brought to the door or the tabernacle, near the altar. The person bringing the animal placed his hand on the animal’s head, then killed it at the north side of the altar (Lev 1:4,5,11; 3:2,8; 6:25; 7:2). When the sacrifice was part of the regular services on festive occasions or offered on behalf of the whole people, the animals were slaughtered and cut up by the priests.
Once the animal was slain, the priest caught the blood in a vessel, and depending on the nature of the sacrifice, sprinkled some of it either on the side of the altar, on the horns of the Altar of Incense, or on the Ark (Day of Atonement). The remainder of the blood was emptied at the foot of the great altar. (Ex 29:12; Lev 4:17).
The animal was then skinned and cut into pieces by the offerer (or priest), and either entirely burnt on the altar or just the fat burnt on the altar, with any remainder being burnt outside the camp. This “burning” amounted to cooking the animal, and the animal was then eaten by the priests, or by the priests along with the one who had brought the animal.
If the sacrifice was a bird, the priest wrung off the bird’s head and allowed the blood to flow on the side of the altar. He then threw the viscera on the ash heap beside the altar, and the head and body were burnt on the altar (Lev 1:15).
If vegetable offerings were being made at the same time as burnt offerings, part of the flour and oil, some of the ears of corn and the cakes, along with the incense, were burned on the altar, the remainder going to the priests, who were required to consume it in the court of the tabernacle without leaven (Lev 2:2, 6:9-11, 7:9, 10:12). If the offering was a thank offering, one cake was presented as a wave offering (see below) to God, and was given to the priest who spilled the blood (Lev 7:14), the remainder of the offering being eaten by those who presented it.
It is therefore pretty obvious that the “method presentation” of sacrificial atonement varies in ambiguity, in words, pictures, and other formats. Thus the atonement of Christ can NOW be seen from many angles as opposed to denying its authenticity.
B. Grain Offerings – Worshippers presented this type of offering as flour, baked goods, or roasted kernels. This is cited by Jesus in John 12:34, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth much fruit”
C. Peace Offerings – A worshipper burns part of an animal (male or female) as an expression of thanks to God. They ate the rest of it. But are told to burn the remainder of the flesh on the 3rd day Lev 3:6, 7:11-17, John 6:53, I Cor 11:23-29
D. Sin and Guilt Offerings – The deserving of punishment due to ignorance and sins of commission Lev 5:14-19 For a further study on Ignorance please see my article “Ignorance made Aware”
But none of these offerings are considered worthy if the priest is not anointed for the task that they were to perform on the behalf of the people. Moses washes the priest and anoints them with olive oil. This is exactly what Mary did when she anointed Jesus in preparation for His death. And before such a preparation, the Son of Man was born of the earth, as all is Grain – the offerings of the earth which yields its grains. Such is the Son of Man – made lower than the angles. And received again into the earth, this is considered the objective social variables linguistically, as opposed to the modern “Multidisciplinary Theory” which states language as a subjective definition of situations by the participants, (story tellers) as represented and ongoingly updated in specific “mental models” of language users. In other words all might be subject to either change or the passages (in this case Jesus’ atonement) really means something that does not appear as relevant for today as it once were during its audience. In other words, they say it is not what it seems.
If this is the case, then the topic pertaining to the ultimate reconciliation or universal salvation of man, if you will, may be at risk, and subject to change due to “mental models” today. But any real Reconciliationist would note on the contrary that YHWH was always concerned with repentance, the heart, and the souls of men. Thus having them perform ritualistic rites to appease their pallets and eventually declaring its symbols and shadows in Jesus Christ as the epitome of various atonement’s collected and gathered in as one Ultimate Sacrifice.
But what of His deity? How does the Incarnation fit into the Atonement? Well now…that’s a different study all together. Please see my article “Part 2: A Call to Believe the Sacrificial Death, Burial, & Resurrection of the God-Man Jesus As Opposed to Other Belief Systems”. It is my deepest belief that those who reject the atonement of Christ may also reject His Incarnation and thus His deity. They simply do not understand the mystery of the Incarnation. I see this correlation far to often.