PROPITIATION is a big word used in the Bible, with a simple meaning. Many incorrectly translate this word as “sacrifice.” Propitiation is not the sacrifice, but the place for the blood of the sacrifice. This place is visited by God to show His appeasement, revealing His acceptance of the blood sacrifice. In the Old Testament, this place was called the Mercy Seat, and the Greek word is translated this way in Hebrews:
“…the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”
Jesus Christ is our Mercy Seat today, whether He is our “propitiation“and God is appeased is based up our “faith in his blood“:
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins…”
By definition, “propitiation” means “appease” in a Greek Lexicon. Webster’s 1828 tells us that “appease” means “state of peace.” Paul told the Colossians that their “state of peace” is found only in Christ’s blood:
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Why do we need to have faith through the blood? Because we “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means we fall short of being able to be our own propitiation, only the glory of God can be this, and Jesus is the “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14)
When we receive the propitiation of Jesus by faith, we receive the righteousness of God which is the only perfection allowed in Heaven? With this we receive complete forgiveness of all sins of our entire life.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: … 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:22,25-26)
- PAST SINS = the remission of sins that are past
- PRESENT SINS = To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness
- FUTURE SINS = that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus
When we receive the propitiation of Jesus by faith, we receive God’s redemption and we are reconciled with Him.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: … 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable…”
Without being reconciled with God, at peace with God, man has no hope of eternal life.