Covering Sins (Atonement)

Man Needs Atonement

Christ on the crossDavid says that he whose sins is covered is blessed. just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Romans 4:6-8, NKJV) This is Atonement. Jesus’ work on the cross was a work of atonement. It was God’s answer to man’s sin.

Yet, there is a wrong way to cover sins. Solomon says, He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV) The blessed man has his sins covered by God, that is, God removes them from His sight.  Solomon speaks about the man who tries to conceal his sin and refuses to confess them and seek God’s forgiveness. There is a right way and wrong way to cover sins.

The Wrong Way to Cover Sins

Man, in vain, tries to cover his own sins. He, with Satan’s help has devised multiple ways to try to do this. The first way is to shift the blame or responsibility for his sins onto someone or something else. Of course Adam and Eve tried this (Gen. 3:12-13) as well as Aaron in the incident of the golden calf (Ex. 32:22). Just as these were not able to cover their sins by pointing the finger of blame at someone else, neither can we.

A second way some try to cover their sins is by hiding the evidence of their offense. When the children of Israel were about to conquer the city of Jericho, God gave them strict instructions about not taking any plunder from the city. It was to be wholly devoted to God. Achan disobeyed this command and his treachery caused the death of 36 men at the battle of Ai (Josh. 7:21). Jesus said those who love sin, love darkness (Jno. 3:19). This may be literal or metaphorical darkness, but the reason is the same. It deceives them into believing their sins are concealed. Nevertheless, God sees all. One cannot cover his sins by concealing them.

A third way that men pursue to try to cover their sins is the way of hypocrisy. Jesus recognized this fault in the Scribes and Pharisees. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27-28, NKJV) They may have appeared to be righteous on the outside, but Christ knew their hearts were corrupt. We cannot cover our sins through an outward show of piety and righteousness any more than they.

The Right Way to Cover Sins

None of man’s attempt to cover his own sins (find atonement) will suffice. Paul wrote And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13, NKJV) Just as God had to provide skins to cover Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness so also it must be He who provides a covering or atonement for our sins. then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17, NKJV) Jesus died to make atonement for our sins and when we come to Him in obedient faith, God covers our sins with the precious blood of His Son. Stop vainly trying to cover your sins and come to atoning blood of Christ in penitence, faith and obedience.

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