On the cross, God through Christ saved us from Himself. The true Christian never has to face the fear of eternal judgment; why? Because Jesus faced it for us already on the cross. God treated Christ on the cross as if He lived our life, so that we by grace through faith in Him, can be treated as if we lived His life (2 Cor. 5:21). Our sin imputed to Him; His perfect righteousness imputed to us. This is called "the doctrine of imputation."
The culmination of the Lord being punished in our place and the satisfaction of God being accomplished was when Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken Me?" Christ was forsaken in that He bore our sin, its guilt and penalty. But also He bore the wrath of God against us. The Father faced the Son and the Son faced the Father on the cross and He “took it—all of it” for His own. When Jesus cried, "IT IS FINISHED" He had:
- fulfilled the Law;
- went beyond the veil;
- satisfied God's wrath;
- fulfilled all righteousness;
- exalted grace;
- took away the guilt and penalty of our sin;
- destroyed Satan's hold of death;
- abolished death and its sting;
- secured for us eternal life;
- brought us into intimacy with God;
- instituted a new covenant;
- and made for us peace with God forever!
Propitiation refers to the turning away of wrath by an offering. God's wrath is satisfied, His justice is met by the sacrifice.This great work of redemption which began in eternity past, was realized in time through the Virgin Birth, His sinless life lived in fulfilling the Law, the once for all complete atoning sacrifice on the cross by our Lord fulfilling all righteousness, triumphantly culminated in His bodily resurrection from the grave. He was, as Paul said, "raised for our justification."
Expiation refers to covering sins. By the atonement the penalty of our sins are removed from us. The atonement satisfies both the demands of the Father and the needs of Christ's people (1 Pet. 1:2). That such a double transaction can be achieved by one Person, in one event is a matter of eternal glory reserved for Christ alone.
May the Lord strengthen your hearts and minds today in the propitiatory work of the Jesus Christ on the cross and cause you to glorify and love Him with the full affections of your lives.
Because He lives...
1 John 4:10