The Final Atonement
People are fond of saying, “You know, it doesn’t matter how you get to God. All religions lead to God.” Friend, that is not true. The Bible says only one person in all of history is qualified to atone for our sins and reconcile us to God. And that Person is Jesus—the Prophet, Priest, and King.
Jesus Is a Prophet. In fact, He is the prophet—the one Moses told the Jewish people to look for (Dt. 18:15–19). Several times He said, “Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (Jn. 12:50). For three years He did precisely what the Old Testament prophets did: manifest God’s truth to mankind.
Jesus Is a High Priest. He is the only Mediator between God and man. He is the only perfect and sinless sacrifice for sin.
Everyone is born with a sin nature. We can see the human tendency to do wrong even in young children. Only Jesus was born without a sin nature, and only He lived a sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21). Today He functions as our High Priest:
For such a High Priest was fitting for u s, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer u p sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself (Heb. 7:26–27).
Because He did not have to offer a sacrifice for His own sins, He was qualified to become the payment, or sacrifice, for ours. Jesus alone can stand between man and God: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:5–6).
God sent Jesus to die for the sins of the entire world. His death is the only sufficient payment for the sins of men and women across the face of the earth. He is the only Mediator, the only go-between, and the only one who can “get you in” with God.
Jesus Himself said, “Broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Mt. 7:13; Jn. 14:6).
Those statements even eliminate the teachings of some branches of Christianity that main-tain you can get to heaven if you are a good person, based on your own merit. The Bible says Jesus must be your substitute. We must accept Him as the one who died in place of us in order for us to receive forgiveness of sin.
He passed through the heavens into the heavenly Temple to offer His own blood. It is amazing that He would be both Priest and Sacrifice, but that is what Scripture teaches. In His death, He presented His blood as a sufficient sacrifice, rendering inoperative the Old Testament’s sacrificial system. It is no longer available as a means of access to God because Jesus’ sacrifice replaced it.
Jesus is a Priest forever: “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). His ministry is ongoing; He functions as a Priest today. When we sin, Jesus is there immediately to intercede for us and plead our case. He tells the Father, “I died for that sin.” His blood is efficacious even for sins we commit between now and the day we die. Jesus paid for them all.
Jesus Is a King. Today Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 8:1). But one day He will return to reign as conquering King. And when He comes, He will defeat God’s enemies and establish His Kingdom here on Earth. It’s called the Millennial Kingdom and will begin with 1,000 years before it moves into eternity.
Jesus is “the King of Glory” (Ps. 24:7–10). He is Prophet, Priest, and King. His prophetic ministry is finished. His priestly ministry is ongoing, and His royal ministry lies ahead.
Only Jesus Christ solves fallen humanity’s dilemma. Because of sin, we are estranged from God. But God sent Jesus to be the propitiation, or satisfaction, for our sins. While we were still sinners, God sent Jesus to die for us so that He might welcome us into His Kingdom (Rom. 5:8).
Jesus is our only hope. He is the only way. And since God went to all the trouble of sending Him and having Him live here for 33 years and die in our place to make atonement for our sins, is God not justified in saying, “Friend, this is the only way”? God has that right, and that is what He clearly communicates in Scripture.
Either we agree with Him, or we spend eternity outside of His presence. Jesus is the sole Mediator between God and man, and we must put our faith in Him as Savior and Lord.