HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. Exodus 32:30
The heart of Moses was full of that great, wonderful new word, Atonement. For many days God had been telling him about it, and speaking it over and over to his heart. He seemed, however, to feel that no ordinary sacrifices would avail: the blood of goats and bulls would surely be insufficient to put away the black transgression into which Israel had fallen. But there was rising in his heart a resolve, to which he gave expression when he returned to God:
“Blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which Thou hast written.” Exodus 32:33
He did not realize that his blood would not avail, but that the blood of Christ, who should, in the fullness of times, offer Himself without spot to God, alone could put away sin.
In every heart, there is a deep conviction of the necessity of an Atonement. – This is the source of the temples, altars, and sacrifices, which have marked the history of every nation under heaven. Man has felt as by a natural instinct that some reparation was necessary to the broken law.
The insufficiency of animal sacrifice. – In the Levitical system there was a remembrance of sin made year by year, but the sin itself could not be purged by such rites. The fact that the worshippers so constantly came back to offer their sacrifices shows that they were not assured. The priests always stood- their attitude was an emblem of unfinished work.
The sufficiency of Christ’s Atonement. – He was willing to be cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of His people; and because He died, there is no longer the atonement which in Moses’ prayer speaks of uncertainty; but a blessed assurance that we are at one with God, with each other, and with all holy beings.