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Jeremy Treat on the Transformative Power of the Atonement

The gospel brings many benefits—forgiveness, victory, and redemption, among others. But we shouldn’t be so focused on a blessing like forgiveness that we forget the whole point is that we’ve been restored to relationship with God. The ultimate point of the gospel is God giving us himself. The cross removes the barrier that separates sinners from God. The cross restores the relationship with our Creator that was broken by our sin. 

This is the meaning of the atonement, the cross whose very shape points to its purpose: the vertical beam symbolizes our reconciliation with God, and the horizontal beam shows how Christ’s sacrifice reconciles us with one another.

You’ll learn this and more from Jeremy Treat in his new book, The Atonement: An Introduction, part of the Short Studies in Systematic Theology series from Crossway. This book is both moving and helpful. I especially love the way Treat shows the atonement as upending the expectations of the world. Here’s a quote:

Herein lies the paradox of the gospel. The self-giving love of God transformed an instrument of death into an instrument of life. The cross is the great reversal, where exaltation comes through humiliation, glory is revealed in shame, victory is accomplished through surrender, and the triumph of the kingdom comes through the suffering of the servant.

Treat joined me on Gospelbound to discuss the kingdom and cross, the apex of Christ’s mission, theories of atonement, and more.


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