Today’s Hump Day Hmmm….Atonement. For more takes on this topic, and some great discussion in the comments section, check out Julie at Using My Words.
Atonement: the act of paying for a sin or transgression.
The problem with this is that this implies that someone has to judge whether or not that the payment is sufficient.
So, who decides?
God seemed to be satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. So that’s the end of it, right?
It seems that the question is not so much of atonement as of forgiveness. A person can perform various acts of contrition and achieve a sense of coming to terms with their actions, which would meet the above definition, but others may still not be satisfied. While doing some background on this topic today, I came across a description of “at-one-ment” that I really liked. This implied a return to a healthy relationship with those you have wronged. It is two sided. With atonement must come forgiveness.
Of course this also implies that the person you have wronged is willing and able to accept your attempts at “at-one-ment”. God doesn’t have a problem with this. He’s God. Human beings? Not so much. We all have issues with forgiveness and letting go. In order to achieve “at-one-ment” with someone, or even God, we have to first let go.
This can be very hard to do. In order for us as humans to move on and live our lives as God intended, we have to trust that God will judge. That’s His job, not ours.
And for us? The best we can hope for is justice. A fair justice that will compensate victims and protect society.