1 John 4:9-10
"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
As I expressed in my last post, we will complete the Depth of God's love with the second portion of the exposition of the 1 John 4:9-10 passage. What is love? The first part displayed that God loved us first rather than us loving Him. Now, we will dive into the heart of the Gospel with the second part. Love is astoundingly revealed by the Son's willingness to represent sinners, to pardon sinners. This is the climax, the pinnacle, the focal point of the Gospel. HE CAME TO BE THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS.
Now, what is propitiation? I asked this question a couple months back on my blog and got a variety of different answers. Some replied that propitiation is the atoning sacrifice for sins. Others said that propitiation displayed the assuaging of God's wrath, the satisfaction of God's wrath by condoning sin. The latter is a more correct view than the first. However, the first view is relatively in the same ballpark as the latter. I won't argue over this because it is possible to obtain the appeasement of God's wrath for the first view, but overall, the best view for propitiation contains the satisfaction of God's wrath for sins. So with that said, I will give you two pictures of propitiation that will hopefully be helpful.
The first picture is a favorite of my Pastor's. A storm is blowing across the Midwest, East Coast, whatever. If you live there, you may now that many of your homes have electrical conductors, which are really large copper rods that go down into the soil. These electrical conductors contain all of the electrical wiring of the house at some specific point in the ground. So that if the house should be hit by lightning, the electrical conductor draws all the fury and power of that lightning down into the soil and away from the home.
The second is like a dam. A humongous dam 1000 miles wide, 1000 miles long, and 1000 miles deep. A gigantic volume. This dam is filled with the wrath of God. At one specific moment in time, the dam breaks loose releasing the horrifying fury that represents God's wrath.
The picture of propitiation in these two images represent the absolute demolition of Christ physically, mentally, and spiritually. HE WAS CRUSHED!!!!!!! HE WAS DESTROYED!!!!! HE WAS DEMOLISHED!!!!!!! There is no way of getting around the Cross of Christ lightly. His physical suffering was bad, but His spiritual suffering was ultimately, horrifically incomparable. NO COMPARISON. Try and think of the worse pain that you have ever experienced. Think about it. Once you have, multiply that pain times infinity. That is what Christ experienced. TO SAVE YOU, A SINNER!!!!
Romans 5:6-8 says, "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person---- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die---- but God shows His love for us in that while WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US."
He was crushed beneath the weight of our sin. God's wrath is ultimately assuaged, appeased, and satisfied by this one truth. That is propitiation. Now, how can God "agape" us and still remain just? The answer is found in the word propitiation. I already explained the intricacies of propitiation, so we should easily be able to obtain the answer. The definition of the word propitiation proclaims that God's wrath is ultimately satisfied. When God's justice reigns by crushing His own Son on OUR behalf, the complete satisfaction of His righteous wrath prompts His love to flow freely from Calvary on behalf of vile, helpless human beings. In other words, Christ purchased our hell, so that we gain His "agape" love. That is the depth of God's love......
Sola Deo Gloria!!!!!!