Oswald Chambers says - "The Atonement means that God can put me back into perfect union with Himself, without a shadow between, through the Death of Jesus Christ."
This is astounding and I confess, knowing the state of the world and my own heart, I doubt it. I tend to believe there is 'a shadow between' because that is, mostly, the reality I live in. I tend to believe the shadow will only disappear when I die, when I am face to face with Him. And perhaps that is the problem. I don't live in the reality of the cross.
It was what happened on the cross that removed the shadow of sin, as Oswald says, and put the shadow of Christ in its place so that His Father does not see our sin when he looks on us, but sees Jesus. Perhaps I have managed to step into that shadow once or twice. But live there? I don't think that is possible on this earth. Perhaps that too is my sin. Though I accept and recognize the sacrifice of Christ, I live in a fallen world and still struggle with a fallen nature. In standing, I am holy before God but in experience I am far from that place.
God's mercy is all the more remarkable.