What happened with the Atonement of Christ has proved to be a controversial topic over the past two thousand years. The situation is, for many or most Christians, that while Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection is known to be the central fact; a satisfactory and satisfying explanation of the Atonement is something each person may have-to sort-out for himself.
Here is a framework.
1. Establish God’s ultimate aim and hope for Man – What does God want Man to become?
2. Christians know that Jesus Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection was – in some way – essential to the fulfilment of that hope.
3. So, the explanation of what exactly Christ’s Atonement was, and how it worked; must be provided with reference to God’s ultimate aim for Man, and Christ’s essential contribution to the achievement of that aim.