Necessary Blood 8
By R.C. Sproul
When we talk about propitiation, we're talking about what the blood of Jesus did for the Father. He satisfies the demands of God's justice. In propitiation, the atonement of Christ is looking towards the Father, to satisfy His justice, to satisfy His holiness, that the Father may be just and the justifier. So propitiation looks toward that action of satisfaction that the atonement of Christ accomplishes. But it does more than that.
It also accomplishes expiation. The word expiation has the prefix “ex” which means “out of” or “from.” If you want to find your way out of the church, you look for the exit sign. Expiation has to do with remission.
I talked with someone the other day who had been diagnosed with a form of cancer and had undergone various forms of chemotherapy and radiation, and they said, my cancer's in remission". Or perhaps you get a bill from the department store where you pay by credit card and it asks you to remit your payment (send it in). Remission means having something sent away.
The blood on the throne of God and the mercy seat was only half of the Day of Atonement. It was that other animal, the scape goat, where the priests went through the ceremony of placing his hands on the back of the goat, and in that ceremony, he was imputing the sins of the people to the back of the goat. Now it's critical to understand what happened to the goat. The goat was not killed. The goat's blood was not removed. Instead, the goat was driven into the wilderness, outside the camp, outside where the light of God's countenance was shining. In a word, the goat was experiencing the fullness of the curse of God as it was removed from His presence.
Expiation is when on the cross, Christ takes my sin and experiences and the curse it deserves for me. It's not by accident that He's delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. It's not by accident that His death occurs outside the city of Jerusalem. It's not by accident that the earth was covered with darkness in the middle of the day because in the drama of this redemption Christ is forsaken by the Father, and He screams, My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Some people say He wasn't really forsaken. He just felt forsaken, or He was just quoting Psalm 22. He was forsaken because He was not only the Lamb who was slain, but He's the scapegoat that is driven outside the camp into the outer darkness.