Leslie M. John
Propitiation is an act by which God is caused to pardon and bless a sinner. When propitiation is rendered to God, a sinner is reconciled to Him, and He by His character and Government, is caused to pardon the sinner.
God is love and He loved the world that He gave His only Son, who became propitiation for us, and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Propitiation does not force God to love sinner, nor does it make Him loving, but it makes God to exercise His immutable attribute, which is love, towards sinners. It is one of the acts the high priest performed in the Old Testament period on the “Day of Atonement” by sprinkling blood of the sacrifice, he offered on behalf all people, on the “mercy-seat”, in the most Holy Place within the veil; and that was propitiation.
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17)
In the New Testament period Lord Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice, and became propitiation, by becoming our substitute, and accepting our obligations to offer sacrifices. Lord Jesus Christ, by becoming sin for us, and by dying on behalf of us, He expiated our guilt.
”For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:11-12)
The word “Propitiation” is used in Romans 3:25 in this and 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 4:10. Propitiation means to reconcile or to appease, to condone, or to expiate or to cancel. He is the Son of God and He was divine and human. He said He and the Father are one. He had the power to forgive sinner on this earth.
“But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house” (Luke 5:24)
“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” (Romans 3:25)
Lord Jesus Christ, who was sinless, and without any blemish, after having been declared as “just” by even Pontius Pilate, a secular authority reconciled us to the Father.
John 6:44 reads “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day”.
Lord Jesus Christ is the only High Priest and the only mediator for us. It is to Him that a sinner needs to confess sins and acknowledge that He is the Lord, and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead. There is no priest required for us to confess our sins to, and no priest can confess our sins to the Father on behalf of us.
”For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”. (Hebrews 4;15)