The incredible meaning of propitiation.
Lesson 55 from The HOPE Study Guide
…whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.
– Romans 3:25
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
– Hebrews 2:17
…and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
– 1 John 2:2
In this 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 4:10
At the cross Jesus took our sin upon Himself. He paid the penalty for our sin. He became our substitute. At the cross God’s justice was satisfied, and His love fulfilled. Then Jesus said, “It is accomplished.” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.
– The HOPE, Chapter 10
OBSERVE & CONSIDER
In the previous lesson we considered that Jesus’ work on the cross resolved a dilemma of divine proportions: it fulfilled God’s love for man and, at the same time, satisfied His righteous justice in regard to sin. There is something more that was satisfied by Jesus on the cross – God’s anger at sin and its destructive effect on this world.
Have you ever heard or read of something so evil that it turns your stomach? Many people respond to these kinds of stories by saying, “If God is so good, then how can He allow such a thing to take place?” When people say this, it is an indication that there are some truths of which they are not aware.
Regarding sin and its effect in the world, God has more anger than we can understand. But there is a reason that God doesn’t just pour out His anger and judge this sinful world immediately. We can know this reason from 2 Peter 3:9-10 , “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”
From this verse we see what will someday happen to this world and all of its works–it will all be burnt up. Ultimately, God isn’t trying to preserve or rescue this sin infected world; He is creating a new one (Revelation 21:1). But as much as God is angered by sin in this world, this verse also tells us Jesus is not slow about His promise (to return and to judge the world), but He is patient because He wishes that none should perish. In other words, as intense as His anger is over sin, His love for people is even more intense.
Though His judgment of this world may not be immediate, it is imminent and inevitable.1 And it will be terrible. This brings us back to the point of today’s lesson. Continue reading