Thursday – The Public Propitiation

By David Dickmann

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Romans 3:23-25

After having declared all people guilty and under God’s wrath, the apostle Paul states the Gospel. It was a message he knew personally. He who was a great persecutor of the church was awakened to the depth of his sin and guilt by a personal appearance of Jesus.

We need to ask ourselves, “How bad am I? How deep is my guilt?” One way to know is to ask, “How much did it cost to pay for my sin?” The answer is, the life of the eternal Son of God who became the man, Jesus. This high price of redemption is a measure of how bad we really are, how far short we fall, and how guilty we are before the Holy God. It is also a measure of God’s love for sinners.

When I was a new Christian, I attended a Bible study one evening and the passage was Hebrews chapter 9.

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:11-14

That night the teacher asked, “If the Son of God came down and offered Himself as a sacrifice, then rose and ascended into Heaven with His own blood as the offering for sin, how could you think that salvation could come through your so-called good works?”

The word “propitiation” in Romans 3:25 is translated “mercy seat” in Young’s literal translation. The mercy seat was the place in the temple where the high priest offered the blood of an animal sacrifice to cover the guilt of the sin of the people.

There is no more earthly mercy seat, but there is a heavenly one; a mercy seat where the blood of Jesus was offered once for all time to cover sin for all who receive that offering by faith.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 4

1 Cor 11:2-12:11

Ps 98–99

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