Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Requirements for Atonement
Lev 16:5-34

5 And he shall take from the congregation of the sons of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 Then Aaron shall offer the bull for the sin offering which is for himself, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household. 7 "And he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell, and make it a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat. . . . 14 Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15"Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. . . . 21 Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel, and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. 22 And the goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release he goat in the wilderness.   . . . 29 "And this shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls, and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; 30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you shall be clean from all your sins before the LORD. NAS

The text takes us back to the initiating of the day of atonement. It will give us the background for this sermon. Atonement has been defined as At-One-Ment. It has the intend of bringing two or more together. I want to look at three requirements for atonement. They are 1) Separation, 2) Sacrifice. 3) Settlement. Please follow as we look at these points.

1.    Atonement Requires A . . Separation. 

A.    Separation and . . Conception. Psa 51:5
        5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. NAS

Rom 5:12-13
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- NAS

Ephesians 2:3
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. NAS

B.    Separation and . . Choices. Rom 7:18-20
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. NAS

C.    Separation and . .Consequences. Heb 2:2-3
2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, NAS

Many electronic fire alarms have an internal switch triggered by a beam of light. As long as light is received unbroken by the photo-sensitive receiver, the detector is quiet. But if smoke or moisture or an insect obstructs the beam for even a split second, the alarm sounds. Our conscience resembles such an alarm. When sin obstructs our connection with the light of God's Spirit, the conscience signals us that there's life-threatening danger.    -- A.D. Sterner, Akron, Colorado. Leadership, Vol. 16, no. 4.


God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. We cause the separation from the light

2.    Atonement Requires A . . Sacrifice.

Introduction: Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. NAS

A.    Atonement . . and A Pleasing Sacrifice. Heb. 7:26
For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; and Hebrews 2:17,

When I was a child, our church celebrated the Lord's Supper every first Sunday of the month. At that service, the offering plates were passed twice: before the sermon for regular offerings, and just prior to Communion for benevolences. My family always gave to both, but they passed a dime to me only to put in the regular offering. One Communion Sunday when I was 9, my mother, for the first time, gave me a dime for the benevolent offering also. A little later when the folks in our pew rose to go to the Communion rail, I got up also. "You can't take Communion yet," Mother told me. "Why not?" I said. "I paid for it!"    -- Paul Francisco, Rockford, Ill. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."   Giving/Of Tithes/2123

That has a degree of humor to it. When the lad is 30 and thinks he can pay for his sin it will be sad.

B.    Atonement . . and A Permanent Sacrifice. Heb. 7:27
who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. And Hebrews 9:26, Heb 10:11-12

A boy and his father were driving down a country road on a beautiful spring afternoon, when a bumblebee flew in the car window. The little boy, who was allergic to bee stings, was petrified. The father quickly reached out, grabbed the bee, squeezed it in his hand, and then released it. The boy grew frantic as it buzzed by him. Once again the father reached out his hand, but this time he pointed to his palm. There stuck in his skin was the stinger of the bee. "Do you see this?" he asked. "You don't need to be afraid anymore. I've taken the sting for you." We do not need to fear death anymore. Christ has died and risen again. He has taken the sting from death.


Atonement requires a Sacrifice, and you nor I can make it.

3. Atonement Requires A . . Settlement. 

A.    An Atoning Settlement . . Planned by God. Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the
        foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love NAS

1 Peter 1:19-20 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you NAS

B.    An Atoning Settlement . . Pleasing to God. Col 1:19-21
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross;  through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. NAS

There was a soldier in the Union army, a young man who had lost his older brother and his father in the war. He went to Washington, D.C., to see President Lincoln to ask for an exemption from military service so he could go back and help his sister and mother with the spring planting on the farm. When he arrived in Washington, after having received a furlough from the military to go and plead his case, he went to the White House, approached the doors, and asked to see the president.

However, he was told, "You can't see the president! Don't you know there's a war on? The president's a very busy man. Now go away, son! Get back out there and fight the Rebs like you're supposed to." So he left, very disheartened, and was sitting on a little park bench not far from the White House when a little boy came up to him. The lad said, "Soldier, you look unhappy. What's wrong?" The soldier looked at this young boy and began to spill his heart out to this young lad about his situation, about his father and his brother having died in the war, and how he was the only male left in the family and was needed desperately back at the farm for the Spring planting.

The little boy took the soldier by the hand and led him around to the back of the White House. They went through the back door, past the guards, past all the generals and the high ranking government officials until they got to the president's office itself. The little boy didn't even knock on the door but just opened it and walked in. There was President Lincoln with his secretary of state, looking over battle plans on the desk. President Lincoln looked up and said, "What can I do for you, Todd?"

And Todd said, "Daddy, this soldier needs to talk to you." And right then and there the soldier had a chance to plead his case to President Lincoln, and he was exempted from military service due to the hardship he was under.

Such is the case with our ascended Lord. We have access to the Father through the Son. It is the Son who brings us to the Father's throne and says, "Daddy, here is someone who wants to talk to You." --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 72-73.

I will place on this lectern for all of you to see this categories of sin. You all see these and you know the represent sins. Now I will cover the lectern with this red cloth. What do you see know? All we can see is this red cloth. The sins have been covered.

Do you remember the mercy seat of the alter was covered with blood? The blood Of Christ can cover our sins.


As you travel along I-10 in Louisiana there is a large billboard which catches your eye. It stands high above the city just as you start up the Mississippi River bridge. On it is a picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross of Calvary, head bowed. The caption underneath says in bold letters, "It's Your Move!"

The Atonement has been paid, .................. what is your move?