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Who is Jesus?
Our Propitiation
Part VIII of the Series. Bible study on Jesus as our propitiation.

In this series we're talking about the names and descriptive phrases identifying Jesus. Thus far we've talked about Jesus as God, Lord, Savior, Creator, the Word, the Son of God, and the Lamb of God.

In this article, we talk about Jesus as the propitiation for our sins.

Jesus is our Propitiation
The Greek noun hilasmos is translated "propitiation" in 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 4:10.

It signifies "an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted" (Vine's).

Jesus Himself is the personal means by which God takes away our sin.

  • ". . . He Himself is the propitiation for our sins. . . ." (1 Jn. 2:2).
  • "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 Jn. 4:10).

Jesus is our propitiation. It's who He is and what He is.

All His work to save us from sin, from the time God's plan was devised before creation, to His work as high priest, relates to being our propitiation.

Jesus' Work: Make Propitiation For Our Sins
The Greek verb hilaskomai is translated "merciful" in Luke 18:13 and "propitiation" in Hebrews 2:17.

  • "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Heb. 2:17).

It "signifies 'to be propitious' or 'merciful to' (with the person as the object of the verb), and in Heb. 2:17 'to expiate, to make propitiation for' (the object of the verb being sins)" (Vine's).

Jesus' work on earth was to make propitiation for our sins. That's why He had to come to earth in the flesh to atone for our sins.

  • "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things . . . to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Heb. 2:17).

Jesus' mission in coming to earth was to make propitiation for our sins.

  • The day He met Zaccheus and said salvation was coming to his house, Jesus said, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:10).

Jesus sacrificed His entire life for us. In return, He asks us to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service (Rom. 12:1).

Jesus: Propitiation in His Blood Through Faith
The Greek noun hilasterion is translated "mercy seat" in Heb 9:5 and "propitiation" in Rom. 3:25.

Jesus is the propitiation of God, typified by the mercy seat of the old law. He is our throne of grace, in whom we are saved.

Jesus is our propitiation, in His blood.

His blood cleanses us from our sins.

  • The redeemed in heaven are people who were washed in Jesus' blood (Rev. 7:14).
  • We are justified by His blood, and saved from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9).
  • In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses (Eph. 1:7).
  • Christ entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption, through His blood (Heb. 9:12).
  • The blood of Christ cleanses our conscience from dead works, so we can serve God (Heb. 9:14).
  • We are redeemed with the blood of Jesus (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
  • Jesus' blood cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn. 1:7).
  • Jesus releases us from our sins by His blood (Rev. 1:5).

Jesus is our propitiation through faith. In other words, through faith we have access to Christ as our propitiation, and the forgiveness of sins.

Just as the Jews under the law believed God and obeyed, sprinkling blood on the mercy seat, we believe God and obey Jesus.

  • Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to everyone who obeys Him (Heb. 5:9).

Our sins are forgiven, thus propitiated, when we are baptized.

  • Our sins are washed away when we are baptized (Acts 22:16).
  • It's at this point we are washed in Jesus' blood (Rev. 7:14).
  • Jesus is our propitiation, in His blood; therefore, it's at the point of baptism our sins are propitiated -- covered and remitted (Rom. 3:25).

Although it's difficult to understand the word "propitiation," it's not difficult to understand how to be saved.

Our responsibility is to obey Jesus, who is the source of eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9). When we do, we are forgiven of our sins and saved.

To be continued.