Propitiation

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : 1 John 2:1-2

He himself is the propitiation for our sins. (v. 2 NASB)

Johnny often got into trouble with his parents. He refused to stop picking on his sister. He delighted in throwing around his toys and then leaving the room. Sometimes he sassed back at his parents when they confronted him. On many days, by the time they finally got Johnny in bed they were exasperated and angry.

Two things needed to be done. As well as finding a constructive way to reinforce positive behavior, Johnny’s parents had to find a way to appease their justifiable anger by consistently applying some means of punishment to their son. That is called propitiation—the process whereby anger is appeased through just punishment.

We don’t use that word much anymore, but the concept is very much alive. We all get angry at wrong and need to find ways to deal with that anger.

God is angry, too, at his incorrigible human race. Like Johnny, we simply do not behave as we ought, and God becomes angry (see Romans 1:18-21). He needed to find some means of punishment to appease his anger. The amazing thing about God’s decision is that he punished his Son Jesus on the cross for our sins. He is the propitiation for our sins—and for the sins of the whole world.

PRAYER

Thank you, Jesus, for taking the punishment we deserved, so that we can experience God’s amazing grace. Amen.