Penance, Redemptive Suffering, & Atonement

Penance, Redemptive Suffering, & Atonement December 10, 2023

Chapter 11 (pp. 353-358) of my book, Bible Truths for Catholic Truths: A Source Book for Apologists and Inquirers (Manchester, New Hampshire: Sophia Institute Press, 2009); the paperback is now out-of-print. This book could also be known as Dave’s Topical Bible, and contains 2,051 Bible passages, categorized under 115 thematic headings. I am now offering it online for free.
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In these blog posts I use — for readers’ convenience — the original RSV of the manuscript (© 1971 by Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America), rather than KJV, which was mostly used in the paperback, due to copyright law. This book is all Bible, except for a few (indented) clarifying comments here and there. Subtitles sometimes differ from the published version. They are my own original titles.

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ATONEMENT MADE BY MEN 

Exodus 32:30-32 On the morrow Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people have sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if thou wilt forgive their sin — and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” (cf. 29:36-37; 30:10, 15-16)

Leviticus 4:20 . . . and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. (cf. 4:26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7, 30)

Leviticus 9:7 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar, and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people; and bring the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as the LORD has commanded.”

Leviticus 10:17 Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since it is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?

Leviticus 16:6 And Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house.

Leviticus 16:16 thus he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. (cf.. 16:17-18, 24, 30, 32-33)

Leviticus 16:34 “And this shall be an everlasting statute for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Moses did as the LORD commanded him.

Numbers 16:46-48 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun.” So Aaron took it as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and behold, the plague had already begun among the people; and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped.

Numbers 25:11, 13 Phin’ehas the son of Elea’zar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, . . . he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the people of Israel.

2 Chronicles 29:24 and the priests killed them and made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel.

Proverbs 16:6 By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, . . .

Sirach 3:3 Whoever honors his father atones for sins, (cf. 45:16, 23)

PENITENTIAL AND REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING

Matthew 10:38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (cf. Mk 8:34-35)

Romans 8:17 . . . fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

2 Corinthians 1:5-7 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

2 Corinthians 4:8-12 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 6:17 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks [Gk., stigma] of Jesus.

Philippians 2:17 Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come.

1 Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  (cf. 4:1)

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Photo Credit: Ri_Ya (11-3-21) [Pixabay / Pixabay Content License]

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Summary: I provide a biblical basis for penance, redemptive suffering, & atonement: the notions that willing physical suffering united with Jesus can benefit the souls of others.

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