[The following devotional is a part of our 2015 Easter Season Devotional Book “Passion Road.” We will be posting a devotional each day on this blog between February 18 – April 5, 2014.]
Propitiation for Our Sins by Jonathan Holmes
Read: Romans 3:21-26
My friend and I got on the topic of how parents used to punish us with spankings and how we found strategies to endure it. Some of the best strategies of course were screaming as loud as you can on the first spanking, give the “puppy dog” eyes when they walk into your room, or wear 5 to 10 pairs of extra undies under your pants. As we laughed, the tone turned much more serious when he told me of a time that he was sent to his room to wait for the spankings. Both parents came into his room and he thought he was about to get double duty spankings. The exact opposite happened. His dad got down on one knee and said, “Son, I love you and I desperately want you to understand the grace that Jesus offers you, so I will take your place.” He handed his son the paddle and said, “The payment for your bad behavior is 5 spankings. I will take this punishment for you” Now, of all the spanking stories we shared, this story is the only one I can remember because of the clear picture of the gospel.
The righteousness of God stands at the center of our text. This righteousness has been revealed through the life and death of Jesus Christ and our section spells out four characteristics of it:
- Apart from the Law (v. 21)
- Through faith in Jesus (v. 22)
- For everyone (v. 22-23)
- At a great cost (v. 24-26)
This righteousness cannot be earned by our own merit, rather it is gifted as a propitiation for our sins. Like a soldier falling on a grenade for his comrades, Jesus has absorbed all of God’s wrath towards our sin. This absorption of wrath is called propitiation (1 Jn. 2:2, 4:10) and is our provided righteousness by the death of Jesus Christ.
- What freedom can be found in our inability to earn God’s righteousness?
Prayers for Lent
- Thank God for the propitiation for our sins.
- Ask God to open your heart and mind to see great cost of our righteousness.