Study the following passages and notice where they address the issue of propitiation and what they say about how Christ satisfied God’s wrath against our sin:
The word “propitiation” refers to satisfying or appeasing God’s wrath. God is a God of wrath; He hates sin. In His holiness, He cannot tolerate what is sinful, have a relationship with what is sinful, or even look upon that which is sinful. Therefore, because He is a just and righteous God, sin requires that God’s wrath be poured out as an expression of His indignation against sin and a demonstration of His utter holiness. No sin can go unpunished because every sin is an offense against God’s perfect nature. Thus, either the sinner must experience the full weight of God’s wrath against their sin and stand in His judgment or a substitute must receive the wrath of God that was due to the sinner.
The glory of the cross is that Jesus stood and received the full brunt of God’s wrath against our sin. He took that wrath upon Himself so that we would not have to. In this sense, Christ propitiated God’s wrath…He satisfied and appeased God’s wrath so that anyone who places their trust in Christ no longer has to face the furious wrath of God against their sin. Christ’s complete and sufficient sacrifice in our place turned away God’s wrath and averted for the believer God’s punishment. Christ did not just deflect or cancel God’s wrath. No, He absorbed it in full. What a glorious truth! God sent His own Son to absorb His wrath and bear the curse for all who trust in Him.
Consider the following questions:
- How does Hebrews 2:17 link Jesus’ incarnation and His propitiation?
- How can a failure to appreciate the seriousness of your sin and the wrath it deserved cause you to trivialize God’s love in Christ?
- What steps must you take today to meditate on the work of Christ as a propitiation of God’s wrath against your sin?
Ask God to help you fully appreciate the wrath that you deserved for your sin and then thank Him for sending Christ to satisfy the wrath that you deserved.