Propitiation for the Sins of the People
A devotional thought from Ken Fentress for “Jesus Reigns”
Hebrews 2:17: “Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
Christ’s incarnation was essential to His propitiation for our sins. Christ became fully human without relinquishing His deity in order to save us. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil—and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” Philippians 2:7 says, “Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.”
Because He is like us in every way, He is a merciful and faithful high priest to God for us. He became like us in order that He might save us. In so doing, Christ is our high priest who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins. First John 2:2 says, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.”
Christ is our atoning sacrifice. He has made propitiation/atonement for us through His death on the cross. Propitiation and atonement refer to the fact that Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross has taken away our sins and satisfied the holy wrath of God. As a result, our sins are forgiven and we are declared righteous in the sight of God.
This is the heart of the gospel. Christ is a merciful and faithful high priest who has brought us into a right relationship with God. This is good news for us to share with all who have never heard it.
Pause and Reflect
• How often do you share the good news of the gospel with those who are unchurched?
• What keeps you from sharing the gospel with others? How can you overcome these obstacles?