I am not sure exactly what others mean when they use the term "the atonement." Can anyone tell me exactly what is meant when they use that term? It seems that some use it as being equivalent to "propitiatory sacrifice" but that certainly cannot be its meaning in the following verse: "For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people" (Heb.2:17; NIV). There the Greek word translated "make atonement for" is in the "present" tense so it cannot be referring to the Lord Jesus' work at the Cross. Thanks!