The atonement cover was part of the Ark, but I wanted us to look at it separately today. It was made of pure gold and had two cherubim on top (one on each side) with their wings pointing up to signify God's symbolic dwelling place. This is where God would meet with Moses and with the priests for generations to come. The atonement cover literally covered the "testimony" that was inside the Ark.
The word "atonement" means to "make restitution for or to cover over". Sacrifices had to be made and the blood of the animal had to be put on the atonement cover when the priest would go to meet with God once a year in the Most Holy Place. The picture here is of God dwelling between the cherubim looking down on the Ark. Inside He would see the testimony or the Ten Commandments inside the Ark. He would also see the fact that His law had been broken by the people. But, because the priest had put the blood of the sacrifice on the atonement cover, God saw all of this through the blood and His wrath was turned away.
Jesus is now our Atonement Cover. He entered the Most Holy Place in heaven with His own blood. When we accept Christ's sacrifice for our sins, God no longer just sees you and I and our sin. He sees us through the atoning sacrifice of His perfect son Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
We were discussing this the other morning in our family devotion and discovered that even a four year old can understand atonement. We explained it by taking two pieces of white paper. We left one of them white and put all kinds of black scribbles all over the other. We explained to Joel that the white one was the holiness of God and that the one with scribbles represented us when we do things that are wrong. Then we told him that when we trust Jesus He covers our sin with His holiness. I took the white paper and put it over the other one and asked him what he saw. He said, "Clean and white". Exactly. That is what Jesus does for us. No matter what sin we have in our lives, He makes us "clean and white".
Have you allowed Jesus to be your Atonement cover for your life? If you have not, I cannot think of a better Christmas gift you could give yourself and your family. Ask Him to forgive your sins today. Trust in His atoning sacrifice. Enter into the life He always wanted for you. Not the perfect life, but the forgiven life.