Jun 04, 16 Atonement-Propitiation


Atonement and Propitiation – both are rich, rich words. Lovely words to pronounce and still lovelier in meaning.


The Biblical definition for ‘Atonement’ is: (to paraphrase “What the Bible is All About – Bible handbook for Kids”) “To become friends with God after sin has separated us from Him. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made to atone for our sins. In the New Testament, Jesus made atonement for our sins by dying on the cross.”


Propitiation’ (pronounced as pruh-pish-ee-ey-shuh) is basically as if:

You deserve a sentence for a crime you have committed but someone else decides to serve your sentence instead. Not only do you NOT have to take the punishment for your crime, your entire record is swept clean. In the Christian and personal sense, 1) Jesus paid the wages (cost/debt) caused from my sins. He took my punishment. And if I accept this gift, 2) my sins have been cast as far from me as the east is from the west. And on top of those two amazing things, I now have Jesus’ reputation when I am in the presence of God, who is Holy and Just (righteous). I can stand before Him just like His son, Jesus, does, which is as an actual child of God and free of all sin (sin-less). I am no longer spiritually dead. Incredible! When Jesus said in John 10:10b, “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly”, this is what He is telling us.


It is Romans 3:21-26 (esv):

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law – though the law and the prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith for all who believe.

For there is no distinction 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, who God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

This was to show God’s righteousness because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”


It is a difficult to understand passage because of those words we really don’t use in our world today but this passage IS the Gospel (Good news). I love that sentence which ends, “so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” God could still be Just, requiring that all Evil be removed from His Holy presence and He could also be the Justifier, which means He is the one who rids us of our evil so that we can be in His presence and one day, He will rid the world of Evil entirely.


God bless you as He uses you in your Christian walk to reach more people with this Good News.



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