Following Jesus 138

Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.

How was Jesus Christ alone able to accomplish this “just” deliverance for sinners weighed down by their great and heavy burden? Romans 3:25-26 gives us the answer. “Whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

The word “whom” refers to Jesus Christ. The title “God” specifically refers to God the Father. God the Father brought forth or offered Jesus Christ, God the Son, as a propitiation. 

Propitiation is a seldom used word any more. However, it is a good word. Propitiation means to satisfy the holiness of God in punishing sin. Sin must be punished. This is why man’s great and heavy burden is so grievous. There is an awareness that the sinner’s burden must be punished and the punishment is hell. Where is the hope for man?

The hope is found in the cross of Christ. Jesus satisfied God the Father’s righteousness by becoming our judged substitute. Rather than the sinner trying please God and satisfy God’s wrath against sin, Jesus Christ took the sinner’s place thereby doing and accomplishing on the cross what the sinner would spend eternity doing in hell. 

By trusting in Christ alone, that Christ’s life, death and resurrection is sufficient to satisfy God’s wrath, and save the sinner from the penalty of his sin, the sinner is saved and the weight of his/her heavy burden is removed by God. They stand before God forgiven, righteous and cleansed. No longer an enemy, but now a child of God. 

This propitiation was accomplished through the shed blood of Christ: His sacrificial death on the sinner’s behalf. This deliverance brought about by Jesus Christ’s propitiation before the Father we are reminded is to be received by faith. The sinner trusts, depends, commits and worships the person and work of Jesus Christ to deliver him from the great and heavy burden of sin. 

This was intended to display the righteousness and justice of God. God patiently passed over judgment for sinners until the fullness of time when Christ paid the penalty on the cross (Galatians 4:4). 

Jesus’ person and work on the cross enables God to not only judge sin, but also deliver the sinner from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin. This salvation is for the one who has faith in Jesus. 

Talking Points

  • Do you remember a time when you thought the message of the cross was foolishness? Do you remember when you received Jesus as your Savior and the message of the cross became the sweetest and greatest news you ever heard?
  • Do you know of someone who is without Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord? Begin even this moment praying for them and for their salvation.
  • Is there a particular hymn or spiritual song that is your testimony song? What is it? 
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