Jesus came to teach and example who God was. He lived a perfect life and never “sinned”. On the cross he faced the reality of “real-time” confrontation with the reality of sin.
He overcame sin and succeeded where all men have failed. In doing so, he demonstrated how God operates, in that he removes sin because it is opposing his love nature.
After this process he voluntarily gave up his life, he died, and subsequently was raised to life after three days. It is said he became “a life giving spirit”. Now, he certainly became something, and “is at the right hand of God” But he is said to “intercede” for believers, to actively assist them to follow him.
Following him seems to be the thing, that though we be mortal now, by faith we insist that he is alive, and because he is alive then his death encompassed everything necessary to “atone” for us and our sin. In fact the “atonement” was really God’s action in him, showing us how it is in God. The “atonement” was God taking sin and dealing with it. But this what was we see in Jesus, and we cannot separate he two. In this case, we see it as Jesus, the son of God, acting on his behalf to show us all that he is and does.
Because we see him with faith in God, going through the “process”, and then gaining eternal life, we have the guarantee of success in that he has opened the door for us, having won the war and seized the spoils. He now invites us all in.
Perhaps rather than be seen as having to do what he did, we only have to rely on HIS love to deal with problems, although the processes may have similarities.
So we share his victory in this life in order to fit us for the next. We confidently take our place at his side as “kings and priests” and proclaim by our lives, his victory. “One died for all, therefore all died”. We may be mortal and die [we never die] but what we have through faith, what we make real and true in faith of him, is stored up “in the heavens” for us, and it will become reality at that time.
By faith we are alive in him. By faith we share his victory. By faith we overcome. By faith we receive the Spirit, and by faith we love.