Propitiation – 1 John 2:2

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.

‘To propitiate someone means to appease or pacify His anger’. Yes, God is angry with sin. Sin is rebellion. If you have a child whom you have loved, fed, nurtured, clothed and encouraged who has at some point turned on your love and raised the high hand of pride toward you then you can empathize with this anger. We are angry with such behavior and seek propitiation. Granted, our anger is never like God’s. Ours is almost always centered in self. His is never centered in selfishness. His is always centered in love for His creation. Yet, it must be appeased. This is biblical propitiation. John Stott covers it most effectively in my humble opinion. From his book, ‘The Cross of Christ’ he writes:

‘So then, God Himself is at the heart of our answer to all three questions about divine propitiation. It is God Himself who in holy wrath needs to be propitiated, God Himself who in holy love undertook to do the propitiating, and God Himself who in the person of his Son died for the propitiation of our sins. Thus God took his own loving initiative to appease his own righteous anger by bearing it his own Self in his own Son when he took our place and died for us. There is no crudity here to evoke our ridicule, only the profundity of holy love to evoke our worship.’

It is His awesome grace in action. Thanks be to God.

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