Blood of Jesus Christ 8

By Dr. Derek Thomas

B.B. Warfield spoke to students at Princeton in 1915 about redemption at the beginning of the First World War. He said, "There is no one of the titles of Christ which is more precious to Christian hearts than redeemer."  Why?  Because it is the name specifically of the Christ of the cross.  Whenever we pronounce it, we placard the cross before our eyes, and our hearts are filled with loving remembrance, not only of what Christ has given us, but that he paid such a mighty price for it.  It's a commercial term, a marketplace term, praise my soul, the king of Heaven, to His feet my tribute bring, ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like Thee His praise should sing.  Praise Him, Praise Him, praise the everlasting King.  Redemption.

But you notice in Romans 3:25 the word propitiation.  Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood.  Now I'm not going to spend too much time on alternative translations.  Some suggest that it should be rendered mercy seat, and there is some evidence that on occasion that's what the word means. The Greek translation of the Old Testament renders propitiation, this word group as the mercy seat.  Since sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat in the temple on the Day of Atonement, it was suggested that Jesus is Himself now the mercy seat, and there's some evidence that that is the correct translation, for example, in the Book of Hebrews.  Why propitiation as such?  

It's the idea of the wrath of God.  It's not just that Jesus covers our sin.  That's a necessary element that our sins have to be blotted out, that they have to be covered, they have to be removed as far as the east is from the west, never to be remembered no more forever.  But there is more to it than that.  What is the problem here?  Can I put it like that?  What is the problem here?  The problem is not man's problem.  I'm going to put it like this to you, that the problem is God's problem.  It's the problem of His holy character.  It's the problem of His integrity.  It's the problem of His righteousness.  How can He be just and the justifier of Him who believes in Jesus?