Can you imagine the look on a suspected murderer’s face as he hears the verdict of “not guilty”? His future had been in the balance, but he is now free! Can you imagine a wife clutching divorce papers as her husband begs her not to proceed? He pleads, “Can’t we reconcile?” Through her tears she answers, “Yes.”

Atonement is a Biblical word describing God’s willingness to redeem us or reconcile us. We are guilty. Yet God redeems us anyway. In Romans 5, the first eleven verses deal with atonement, a term rendered in many translations as “reconciliation.” What are the benefits of atonement? To answer this, notice the “we have” statements in the first five verses.

• “We have peace with God” (vs. 1).
• “We have access… into this grace” (vs. 2).
• “We rejoice in our suffering” (vs. 3).

But it hasn’t always been this way for the human race. Before we had these things “we were” in a horrible condition: weak (vs. 6), sinners (vs. 8), and enemies (vs. 10). Do you realize we are the guilty murderer who can be pardoned? We are the unfaithful wife who has a faithful husband pursing her. Read again our text in Romans 5. The game changer is the word but in verse 8. “But God shows His love for us” bringing amazing atonement.

• “We have now been justified” (vs. 9).
• “We are reconciled” (vs. 10).
• “We also rejoice” (vs. 11).

Today, I will…imagine myself in a courtroom, knowing that condemnation awaits, and contemplate how blessed I am to know that Jesus justified me. I will appreciate my relationship with God and rejoice! I will pray in gratitude for His peace, His grace, and my suffering, and I will rejoice in His atonement.