10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10
ESV - 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
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Jesus is the propitiation. He is everything. Think of the tabernacle in the wilderness. He dwells within us. Greek word, hilaskomai. It has 3 meanings. To appease or placate, to be merciful, to make a propitiation. He is our substitute. He has paid the price. God paid the price for our sins by giving His Blessed, Beloved Holy Son, Jesus. It is His mercy. Nothing that we have done, or can do can save us. If we receive and believe, we have atonement. Think of it this way: "At one ment". We are one with Him. In Him, we are acceptable to our Heavenly Father. In the Old Testament when the blood was sprinkled on the altar as a sin offering, God met His people. So Christ's death brings fellowship with God. Hebrews 9:2-5, "For a tabernacle was prepared: The first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of the glory overshadowing the mercy seat, Of these things we cannot now speak in detail." Matthew 27:51, "Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quakes, and the rocks were split."
"Propitiation" ("atoning sacrifice") signifies the satisfying of God’s holy law. “God is light” (1 John 1:5), and thus He cannot willfully ignore or overlook sin. But “God is love” (1 John 4:8) too and wants to save sinners. How, then, can a holy God maintain His own justice and still forgive sinners? The answer? The sacrifice of Christ! At the cross, God in His holiness judged sin. God in His love offers Jesus Christ to the world as Savior. God was just in that He punished sin, but He is also loving in that He offers free forgiveness through what Jesus did at Calvary. (1 John 4:10; Rom. 3:23-26.)
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