It is wonderful how many titles of the sacrifice of Christ, is given in scripture.
Each with a fullness of meaning for us.
Propitiation is one of them.
It means…”the appeasing of God’s holy wrath and anger” against sinners.
How this shows us the fierceness of suffering and pain, of defilement and horror, that fell upon the Savior….for us.
Romans 3:24-25 “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
That God might be just:
….for if God allowed a sinner into heaven with their sin still on them….heaven would be defiled. He would not do so.
So for God to be just……to be true to His Holy nature….He became also the Justifier of those that believe on Christ Jesus.
How could the Most Holy God ever bring us….HIs sinful creatures….to fellowship with Him?
There is only one way: only by the removal of our sin….both in actions done….and intents of the heart;…..and in what we will do.
And there was only one way to meet this criteria…..by sending His Son to become man….a perfect man….
……who would die as a sacrifice….a perfect sacrifice for all mankind. Only His Son could take all our sin upon Himself….and appease God’s justice.
Psalms 14:2-3 “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Christ, God’s Son would be God/Man…..fulfilling all of God’s commandments and Law…..and then give Himself over to be a Lamb slain for our sin.
Imagine the force of our sin…..even one person’s anger and hate, and maliciousness and meanness…..past, present and future……put upon the shoulder’s and heart of the Lord….
….for it was not just the sin, but the wrath of God against that sin….that fell on Jesus.
And He did it……for all who would believe….this is propitiation.
1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
There were three hours of darkness….not just grey, or cloudy…..but real darkness, when our sin fell upon our propitiation, Jesus Christ…..and He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Matthew 27:46 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.”
(From about eleven o’clock…the sixth hour of the day….to two o’clock in the afternoon…..what would normally be the brightest time in the day;…
…..instead of bright light….there came a darkness, like the night over the land.
Sin and God’s wrath for it, had fallen on Jesus Christ….and darkness manifested that terrible time. About the ninth hour, Jesus cries “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
The agony and pain would have been unbearable…..yet He hung on….till He yielded up the ghost.
Till all was fulfilled, he bore and bore and bore it….then He gave Himself up to die….counting on His Father to raise Him up.)
1 John 4:10 “Herein is love…..”
Here, God could talk about His strong feelings and plans for us. He could speak about the grace that will keep us…..
But what He says here, through John, the beloved Apostle….speaks of the greatest act of love…..
…..Christ taking away our sins….the great obstacle which keeps us separated from God….by placing them on Him, and Him paying the penalty for them….for us.
This is love.
1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:19 “We love Him, because He first loved us.”
This is so true. While we were yet sinners…..turning our backs to Him, hating even the mention of God in truth…..
….even then, God set His heart on us…..and then sent His Son to become the propitiation….the appeasing of God’s holy wrath and anger against us, as sinners…..
….that we might come to Him and be saved…..have peace and joy of the Spirit…..and return that amazing love to Him.