Christ's Death Means Propitiation, Reconciliation to God

By Church, The Rev. Stephen E. Farish Has Served As Senior Pastor; Convention, Which Is Affiliated With The Southern Baptist et al. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 15, 1997 | Go to article overview

Christ's Death Means Propitiation, Reconciliation to God


Church, The Rev. Stephen E. Farish Has Served As Senior Pastor, Convention, Which Is Affiliated With The Southern Baptist, University, Since 1993. He Is A. Graduate Of Auburn, Law., The University Of Georgia School Of, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: The Rev. Stephen E. Farish has served as senior pastor at Crossroads Church, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, since 1993. He is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Georgia School of Law.

As we approach Easter later this month our thoughts turn to the two central events of all history: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Recently I was reflecting on the former of those two events. It struck me that according to the teaching of the Scriptures, there are at least seven terms which describe and elucidate for us exactly what it is Jesus did on the cross.

The first term is sacrifice. The Jewish priests would offer sacrifices on a daily basis for the sins of the people, but Jesus, our great High Priest, offered himself once for all times as the sacrifice required to cleanse his people from their sins (Hebrews 8:1-10:8). Christ's death was also an expiation, which means that it worked the removal of the guilt Christians have before God because they are sinners (Acts 2:38). A closely related idea is that Jesus' sacrifice of himself on the cross was a propitiation; that is, a sacrifice which satisfied the wrath of God stored up against all the sins of all Christians of all times (2 Corinthians 5:21; Mark 15:34).

Jesus' death outside the wall of Jerusalem also made it possible for men and women who were previously alienated from God by sin to come into his immediate presence and have fellowship with him. We thus say Jesus' death worked reconciliation between God and sinful people (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). …

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