Propitiation For Our Sins

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
 
The word propitiation comes from an old English word, propitiate, meaning “to appease” or “to satisfy.” Thus, the apostle John declares in this verse that God the Father sent His Son Jesus to serve as the satisfaction for our sins. This word is the key to one of the classical theories of the Atonement, or the sacrificial death of Jesus.
 
According to this view, God is a holy God who cannot tolerate sin. This puts us as humans in a dilemma, because we are not capable of living sinless lives, no matter how hard we try. To make matters worse, God is also a just God, who-in order to be true to His nature-must punish sin wherever He finds it. So our sin separates us from God and makes us liable to His punishment. Hopeless is the only word that adequately describes this situation.
But, according to John, God loved us too much to allow us to continue in this dilemma. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die to pay the penalty that He demanded from us because of our sin. Jesus was the sacrifice that covered over, or atoned, for our sin and restored the broken relationship between a holy God and sinful humanity.
Propitiation is not a word that most of us drop into casual conversation. Most people would not understand it. But aren’t you glad that God knows the term and that Jesus lived out its meaning through His life and death? We as Christians can celebrate because Jesus came into the world to propitiate.