Episode 306: I’m Talkin. . .Propitiation

I’m Talkin’, episode 306, for February 25th, 2024.

This is Joel from the I’m Talkin’ microcast, where I share my thoughts on a topic that has piqued my interest this past week.

This week we’re talking propitiation.

Now that’s a church word for you, propitiation.

In fact, it makes me nervous every time I say it, because I’m sure I’m going to say it wrong, and probably sometime through this little microcast I may.

But this is a word that you really do not hear outside of maybe a courtroom, potentially, but not in the world, by any means.

And when we think of, in the Bible where we even see it, and I’ll talk about that some later, it’s often translated to a different word, maybe a substitution or expiation, which is a big word for meaning erasing.

So therein lies the challenge for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

So what is that challenge, you may be asking yourself.

So I’m thinking in the word propitiation, do we need to be able to understand what it means?

Is it a word that needs to be part of our everyday Christian vocabulary, or part of what we might share with others who are thinking of becoming a Christian, or you’re having that conversation, and is it important enough for us to be able to define it and explain it in our Christian vernacular?

The word propitiation is used in the Bible, and again, it’s translated.

So sometimes you might see the word propitiation, and some of it depends on the version of the Bible you use, but it is in the Old Testament, and in talking about the sacrifices as part of the law, it is in the New Testament, repeated in a different context as such, and you can find it in parts of Hebrews, and 1 John, and Romans, and Matthew, and Luke.

All of the writers, well, most of the writers will talk about it in one way or another, so I think it is important.

So let’s start with the definition.

So what does propitiation mean anyway?

Well, in simple terms, it means to put away sin, or to cover sin, and to satisfy the wrath of God.

What does that mean anyway?

Well, God is in His perfection, cannot look at sin, and so how does He deal with a sinful people like us, like me?

How does He interact with us when we are sinful and He cannot look at sin?

Well, we’ll get into that in just a minute.

So in the verses in Scripture, it talks about Jesus being the propitiation for our sins, and that’s why sometimes the word is used as a substitute, but basically what it means is He covers our sin in such a way that He satisfies the wrath of God against any sin we may have, or may still, or are committing.

And that allows us, and only that allows us, to have a relationship with God who cannot look at sin.

So it is a very important concept, it’s a very important word in our Christian language, and it has significant meaning to what Jesus did for us on the cross.

In being the substitute, in being the covering, He allows us to have a relationship with the holy God, and you may not find that to be important, but as a Christian it’s everything.

That relationship is everything.

God is our Father.

How do you have a relationship with a Father who can’t look at you because of your sin?

How do you have a relationship with a holy God who cannot recognize you because of your sin?

How do you have it because He sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sin, the covering, the fulfillment of the wrath of God?

You wonder if Jesus felt on the cross?

He did.

He felt a separation from His Father that was heart-wrenching.

It is something we cannot put into words, and we may not want to be able to understand that feeling because it would make us, I don’t know, live life in tears, but at times it needs to be that way.

So when it comes to the word propitiation, what is our responsibility as Christians?

Well, first we have to understand what it means, and I’ve covered that.

Second, we have to be able to use it without apologizing.

And third, we have to recognize the importance of that word and what it means and what Christ did for us so that we can have a personal relationship with God the Father.

Until next week, this is Joel from the I’m Talking Microcast.