Paid in full
One of the most difficult lessons to learn as kids and teens is that whatever we have someone else has worked and paid for. Growing into adulthood is not as smooth as we would like for it to be. Parents do a great disservice to their sprouting young adults by constantly covering for them. We want to provide for them as much as we can as a way to show how much we love them.
If we don’t teach them the truth that someone is working and paying for everything they have they will go through life expecting others to foot the bill. The ones that do understand go on to be productive adult members of society pulling their own weight and not looking for a handout. This is correct, right, and true parenting with love.
Now here’s the rub. When we are told that we are saved by faith (simply believing in and trusting Christ) we have a hard time grasping that truth because for the most part we have been taught that we must earn our own way. Children easily accept Christ with childlike faith because they just simply accept it as what it truly is, a gift. This amazing salvation we enjoy has one truth that most of our parents taught us. That is that someone else has already worked and paid for it.
Atonement means that Christ has already paid the full penalty of our sins and has redeemed us by the shedding of his blood on the cross. As adults we have difficulty with this truth because we are so used to working for and paying our own way but this was not a bill we could ever afford to pay so Christ paid it for us. All we have to do is simply believe and trust Christ.