Continuing with the thought from my last post, if we assume that Jesus is who the NT says He is, and that He did and said what the NT claims, it strikes me that Jesus was very personal in His words and actions. While He sometimes spoke to crowds and a few of His miracles were for many, in the main He spoke one to one, and His miracles, especially His healing, was always at the personal level. That, to me, explains the devotion of the earliest disciples; they not only believed what they were teaching, but had experienced God Himself, one to one.
The Bible tells us God did this from time to time, though we can’t reasonably conclude that God only showed up where Scripture noted the event. Face to face with Adam, and personal contact with Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Elisha – you get the idea. The thing is, every time God makes a personal appearance, He gets results in that person’s life and work.
So the thing about Jesus is, even if you say that the whole Atonement thing is not necessary, it was never about that in the main, anyway. It was about God reaching out to all of us, every last one of us, with a gift of unlimited hope and joy if we will accept it.
You may know from my past articles, that I am one of those who believes that God will offer a universal salvation, indeed already has. Man, having free will, makes the matter a bit murky as to how each specific soul will be resolved, but except for “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”, every sin and offense will be forgiven. That being the case, one might naturally wonder what purposes there is for Christians. We are vessels to carry and share the Good News, although some of us are better at the task than others. Further, we are meant to live in the light, so that men will see its goodness. Again, some are better in this venture than others, though that also counts to different gifts from the Father.
So, and this is something of a thought in development, the value of Christianity is the relationship, not the atonement alone.