PROPITIATION?

We use  many words in the Christian church that the world does not even know the meaning of; words that are second nature to those who have been Christians for many years. But to the outside world it just sounds like religiosity. A few translations help with the meaning but sometimes leave out the term that is so precious to us.

Propitiation. The dictionary is sometimes comical, sometimes annoying, sometimes not helpful at all. Propitiation: The act of propitiating. Helpful. Very helpful.

So I looked up the verb instead of the noun and I like the simplicity of the beautiful meaning.

To commemorate the resurrection of our Lord, let’s look at the verses that use propitiation but replace the word with one of it’s meanings : to make favorably inclined.  I am not saying that God was not inclined toward us before Easter. He loved us so much that he gave his Son on the cross for us. Yet, with that giving and with it’s forerunner in the Old Testament there is a special powerful love that inclines Him toward us in a remarkable way. The willingness, joyful, painful willingness of sacrificing his Son to make us also be his children. He could have lived happily through eternity as a triune God leaving us to perish. But he chose to become inclined toward us, to put away our sins and forgive by the death and resurrection of his Son through faith. He inclined himself toward us not because we did anything to make ourselves pleasing but He did it without our initiation or goodness.

In some of the following verses I added another translation which uses the sacrificial atonement wording for propitiation.  Each one of them speaks of his inclination while we were still sinners.

Sink your eyes and your soul into what God has done for us! Happy and Glorious Easter weekend!

 He becomes so favorably inclined toward us for our sins, and not for ours only
but also for the sins of the whole world. 
I John 2:2

 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be favorably inclined toward us for our sins. 

I John 4:10

 whom God  put forward his Son to became favorably inclined by his blood, to be received by faith.
God displayed publicly and made himself favorably inclined in His blood through faith. 

Romans 3:25

(For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,)

 to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful
and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make Himself favorably inclined  for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 2:17

(For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.)

 You shall do no servile work in the time of this day: because it is a day  for God’s inclination to be favorable toward us that the Lord your God may be merciful unto you. 
Leviticus 23:28

(For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.)

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