OUR PROPITIATION Andy Hollifield 2-14-18
I realize that today is Valentine’s Day and I want to wish each of you; man, woman, boy, or girl, a happy one. Also, for anyone that might struggle through this day like I have many times in the past, don’t think that this day is for everyone else. If you will read to the end, with God’s help I hope to show you that you have and are the most precious Valentine of all time. I said that right; you have the most precious Valentine because of what Jesus did for you and you are the most precious Valentine because he thought you were worth everything it cost him to have you as his own.
“Oh what a story, I love you was written in blood. Rivers of mercy were flowing, from the matchless fountain of love. The ransom was paid for every man’s soul. On an old rugged cross the great love story that was told. The greatest love story is the old rugged cross.” Unfortunately, those aren’t my words but the words of Rick and Rusty Goodman of the Happy Goodman family southern gospel singers. There is no better story because “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Those are the words of God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ and he was speaking of his love for us because that is exactly what he did for us because he loves us. John 3:16 talks about the love of his Father for his most prized creation; mankind. It starts off with these words; “For God so loved the world that he gave…” End of story, he gave. He is still giving to all that will come unto him in repentance of their sins. I do want to list just a few verses to show exactly what was accomplished on the cross for you and I. After all, when Jesus cried “It is finished,” it was. With his last breath, the sacrifice was finished and only the resurrection and ascension remained. Also, the placing of the blood on the mercy seat. That last sacrifice that would have to be made. That sinless, spotless, perfect lamb of God that was and is the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 3:23-25 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) 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 through the forbearance of God.
1 John 2:1-3 My little children, I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (3) And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 4:8-10 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (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.
Those scriptures are the only three times the word “propitiation” is used in the bible. I do want to look at some definitions that will help us better understand what it was that Christ really is for us and also what he did for us that we could not do for ourselves. The first of course is the word “propitiate” which means to make favorable inclined; to appease; or conciliate. He definitely made us favorably inclined unto his Father. Not since Adam sinned in the garden had man had a way to be truly favorable in the eyes of God. Jesus did what all the sacrifices before could not do; he didn’t just atone for our sins and put off the judgment of God, but he purchased forgiveness of our sins and bought us the favor of God once again. The word “appease” means to bring to a state of peace, quiet, ease, calm, or contentment; pacify; soothe. Jesus not only purchased us peace and contentment but his death, burial, and resurrection also pacified and satisfied the judgment of a holy and righteous God. It also means to relieve and assuage which means to make milder or less severe and to ease, soothe, calm, or mollify. “Conciliate” means to overcome the distrust or hostility of, and to placate or win over. It also means to win or gain goodwill, regard, or favor. Also to make compatible and to reconcile. If that isn’t a good definition of what Jesus did for us I don’t know what is. Did you notice how that every one of those definitions brought you right back around to the last one? God don’t never leave out even the smallest detail. One more definition that I believe will be a blessing to you is “finished.” The word spoken from the cross and I am sure no one in attendance even came close to grasping the full meaning of the word that day. The original word is actually “teleo” which not only means to “finish” but also means to bring to a close; passed; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, to carry out the contents of a command, to pay, and to accomplish. Our modern word is defined like this: ended or completed. Completed or perfected in all details, as a product. I like this one especially; polished to the highest degree of excellence. Think about all of that. It not only means to end but to fulfil to the greatest detail. No improvement can ever be made on the work that Jesus did on the cross; plus nothing, minus nothing!
I guess I may have gotten a little carried away but I refuse to apologize. It thrills me to really sit down and think of just exactly what Jesus did for me. As the writers said, “I love you was written in blood.” The last blood, the last sacrifice, the only blood that could possibly satisfy the holiness of God. Whether you are alone and struggling or with the love of your life; just remember it all pales in comparison to how much Jesus loves you. His is a perfect love. It doesn’t diminish with time or distance and if it could change at all it would only intensify. But the good news is that it can’t change. It is a perfect love. It is utterly impossible for him to love us anymore than what he does. I hope this will help each of you to get through your day. Think on this; regardless of how good or bad today may be for you, there is always one that loves you more than anyone else ever possibly could. After all, he did give his life that you might live through him and he is “our propitiation.” Happy Valentine’s Day! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!