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1 John 2:2

“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Behind the Scenes

Easter week – we’re walking toward utter darkness (Friday), but then light so bright we often miss it because we turn away. He is Risen! What does this mean and how does it relate to our verse and subject of atonement this week? If God is so good, and Jesus is His Son, why did He have to die?  

All sin leads to death. This is a hard concept to swallow in our present-day culture of “you do you, boo” and “to each his own”. As we have been walking through our sermon series of “Sin”, the point that our teachers have been driving home is that ALL sin, (there is no ranking of least to greatest), separates us from God – and THAT my friends is spiritual death.  

So, atonement is the cleansing of sin. And the only way to cleanse sin is through blood – death. In the ancient days before Jesus came, that blood, that death, came through the sacrifice of animals. The book of Leviticus walks through all of the requirements and procedures for atoning for (making right) their sins. But God knew that this would not be sustainable. That was a temporary fix until His plan was made full. Enter Jesus.  

In 1 John 2:2, John says, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” Propitiation is just a big word that means Jesus is the atonement for our sin. He made us right, once and for all, when He went to the cross and died for us. He drank the cup of wrath so that we could drink the cup of blessing. ALL SIN LEADS TO DEATH, and Jesus took on our sin and sacrificed Himself so that we would not have to. HIS death atoned for OUR sin.  

Friends, if we could just really grasp this concept, this beautiful gift, we would lead much different lives. Knowing that the King of heaven and earth took on human flesh, feeling everything we feel – pain, sorrow, hunger, thirst, rejection, abandonment, grief – ALL of it, and died for us so that we could live is absolutely mind blowing. This is why it is so hard for those who don’t know Jesus to accept it. It’s crazy. It’s radical. It’s reckless. And it’s all true.

Make it Real

While researching for this devo, I came across this commentary that I think beautifully illustrates it. I was going to paraphrase, but I want you to see the whole of it…

“It is as if we stand as the accused in the heavenly court, before our righteous Judge, God the Father. Our Advocate stands up to answer the charges: ‘He is completely guilty your honor. In fact, he has even done worse than what he is accused of, and now makes full and complete confession before You.’ The gavel slams, and the Judge asks, ‘What should his sentence be?’ Our Advocate answers, ‘His sentence shall be death; he deserves the full wrath of this righteous court.’  

“All along, our accuser Satan, is having great fun at all this. We are guilty! We admit our guilt! We see our punishment! But then, our Advocate asks to approach the bench. As He draws close to the Judge, He simply says: ‘Dad, this one belongs to Me. I paid his price. I took the wrath and punishment from this court that he deserves.’ The gavel sounds again, and the Judge cries out, ‘Guilty as charged! Penalty satisfied!’  

“Our accuser starts going crazy. ‘Aren’t you even going to put him on probation?’ ‘No!’ the Judge shouts. ‘The penalty has been completely paid by My Son. There is nothing to put him on probation for.’ Then the Judge turns to our Advocate, and says, ‘Son, you said this one belongs to You. I release him into Your care. Case closed!’”

Do you see this? Our Advocate – Jesus – goes before the Judge on our behalf. “Dad, this one belongs to Me.” Let’s celebrate this season! Not only did He die for you and for me, but He rose again so that we could have abundant life in our living Savior.  

How is your sin separating you from God? How can you accept the redeeming price of Christ’s life and live in freedom from that sin?  

End in Prayer

Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit – I’m overwhelmed by the gift that You gave us – that we could NEVER EVER earn. I could never do enough to earn Your grace and Your mercy, yet You delighted in giving it to me. Thank You for first loving me and seeking me so that I can now love You. Lord keep showing me where You want me to go and what You want me to do. You gave Your life for me – I give my life to serve You. In the precious, merciful name of Jesus! Amen!

Written by

Colleen McGeorge

ACF Groups Coordinator