Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P16 (09-13-21)
The Godhead Agreed on How to Restore Mankind Back to Life; Propitiation Took Place
Have you ever been tempted to sin? Have you been ensnared and trapped in sin? If we do not guard our hearts, Satan has a way of deceiving us, and it starts out small and innocent enough, and we rationalize it away, then before long you are ensnared. Many a person has stolen money from a college, a business or a ministry and then found themselves in a debt they cannot pay. They try to keep that hidden but are eventually found out. So there is a predicament that occurs for all parties involved and affected, and a solution has to be worked out, for that debt has to be paid.
There was a story of a young man who lied about having obtained his degree, but he failed his last course in college. He had already been offered a job in lieu of getting a college degree. He assumed that he would have his degree until this happened. He has already been hired and is working for this company for some time. He was overcome with guilt over what he had done and was seeking counsel on what he should do. The best thing to do is tell the truth. Go to your employer and tell them exactly what happened and what you did. Do what is right and leave the results in the hands of God. There is no guarantee what the employer will do, but you must tell the truth. The sooner it is dealt with, the easier it is to resolve. The more it lingers and not dealt with, the worse the consequences are, and as it is, you are already tied up in knots, just with the guilt you are carrying.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Now consider the plight of every human being on the face of the earth. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We owe a debt so large we can never pay, the wages of sin being death. Mankind is cut off from relationship with the living God, spiritually dead, and with no hope of being restored. This debt of sin first has to be paid before any restoration can occur. Something called propitiation has to take place before man can be restored to true humanity, the Spirit of God living in him. For until the problem of sin that caused our death is taken away, even if life could be given, the next time man should sin, he would die again.
The godhead, seeing this fallen state of mankind, made an agreement. God the Father consulted with God the Son on how to restore mankind back to Himself. Man cannot do it. Man in his weakened state is in capable of obeying the law, and is bound to sin and death. Man is unable to walk in love, for the love of the Father is not in him. Man cannot pay the debt of sin required, which is death.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God the Father is not satisfied with the blood of animals. The sacrifice of an animal, who is not made like us, is not even aware of what sin is. An innocent animal has no understanding of what sin is because animals were not created in the image of God. A sacrifice that would satisfy the wrath of God against sin has to be made by someone who is fully aware of the reason to why he is making such a sacrifice for someone else, of the magnitude of all the sins and specifically the sins committed by every person who ever lived, that he is willing to pay for. Such a person has to be made in the image of God, someone like us but without sin. The desire of God was to pay for the debt of sin, and so He consulted with Jesus, God the Son. Are you willing to pay for all of them, for the sins of every man who ever lived?
So a sacrifice God desires has to be from a person created in the image of God, someone like us in every way but without sin. That person must not have sin of his own, for if he does then he would also be in debt and sin would have a hold on him, and he would die also and be under the same debt. So he cannot pay such a debt for us, being under the same debt. It had to be a person without sin. He had to be someone who could pay the price of death for someone else but also live again. Only God Himself could do that, for sin has no hold on him. And His sacrifice would be once, not repeated year after year like the blood of bulls and goats did, but it would be done once and for all. Because God so loved the world, He sent His only Son into this world to propitiate for sin. That is why Jesus entered in agreement with the godhead, to do the will of the Father, to die in our place only to rise again to offer what God wants to give us, eternal life, to sanctify us, set us apart, make us complete, restored to true humanity, with the Spirit of God living in us.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll –
I have come to do your will, my God.’”[Psalm 40:6-8]
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” – though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
So Jesus came to this earth to be the once and for all sacrifice for all mankind. He made a covenant with Himself and said to God the Father, “I will do it.” And God the Father said to Jesus, “What you come to do will satisfy my wrath against all sin.” This was the command given by the Father to Jesus the Son.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
To illustrate this concept of propitiation, Bob George shared what happened in the early days of the ministry. A young man,. a bookkeeper for the ministry, had started out rationalizing away actions in his own mind, to borrow money from the ministry with the intent to pay it back. So he did this deceptively, and deceived himself, and before long, he accumulated a large debt. He had, in essence stolen from the ministry. Eventually this was found out, and he had to be confronted by the board of directors of the ministry as to what he had done. And a solution was worked out on how he could pay back the ministry. As part of the solution, the young man had to sell his house. As he talked to the real estate lady, he did not tell her the whole story. He just told he he owed money to a ministry. She was willing to give him a check for $5000. As the young man brought the check to Bob George, he could not accept the check. He had asked if the young man had told her the complete story of why he owed money to the ministry. He said “no”, so Bob could not accept the check when she did not know why she was offering to pay for something she did not owe and the complete reason for the debt, for that would be given under deception. So Bob instructed the young man to take the check back to the lady and have a member of the board go with him to return the check to the real estate lady and tell her the reason the check could not be accepted. He told her the full story of how he stole from the ministry and she understood how that could happen and was still willing to give the check. And only then was the ministry able to accept the check.
This story illustrates that propitiation requires full knowledge of the one who is making a sacrifice for another, in paying a debt he does not owe. He must be fully aware of the sin that required a payment be made for the debt, and knowing that, still be willing to pay that debt he does not owe for someone else who owes the debt. Otherwise, the debt will not be accepted from the one who is receiving the payment to write off the debt. When the agreement is fully met, then reconciliation has taken place, the books are balanced and the debt is written off. That is, Jesus Christ had to be fully aware of all the charges against mankind, of every sin of the entire world, and then still be willing to pay that debt with His own life, for the sins of the entire world, in order for God to be completely satisfied, to accept the payment so that the debt is paid in full.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
That is good news. It is not good news that the Lord Jesus had to suffer and die for you and me. It is good news that someone had to do for you and me what we could not do for ourselves. Inasmuch as we could not do for ourselves it is good news in that it was volitional, totally of God. He wanted to do it. He so loved that He gave and that is the greatest proof of God’s love in the world is the fact that He wanted and desired to come to this earth and to be sin for you and me so that we, in Him, could become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Who took the wages of sin for us? Christ. How much did He take? All of it. How much is left for me? None. He is the total completed sacrifice for sins, and not only ours, but the sins of the whole world. That is one of the things that confused many people. If He died for the sins of the whole world does that mean everyone is saved? If salvation was just getting your sins forgiven then that is what it would mean. But the forgiveness of sin was merely the way He cleared the deck. That is where reconciliation took place. That is where the books were balanced. That is where what killed us was dealt with. For what? So we can be saved. Forgiveness was the means by which God cleared the deck for the divine action of bringing salvation to you and me, which is life, to be made perfect in the sight of God, complete. How can a forgiven dead man be complete? He is just a forgiven dead man. To be complete, he needs to be a forgiven live man. So life had to take place in order to complete this whole deal of salvation. That was done because of the finality of the cross so you and I can have a life called eternal life.