What do you do when you come across a big word that you have no idea what it means? Well, sometimes you can gather the meaning from the context of what surrounds the word. In the sentence, “The arrogant person always talks about himself.”, one might not know what the word ‘arrogant’ means but by reading the whole sentence would probably pick up on the fact that an arrogant person is one who thinks so much of himself that that’s all he talks or thinks about.
But what do you do when you get to Romans 3:25 where Paul says that God “put Christ forward as a “propitiation” by His blood to be received by faith.” ? What does that word mean? Can we just skip over it? Not at all! This word is the very heart of the gospel!
To propitiate someone is to turn someone’s anger away. So if I spill kool-aid on your shirt I might propitiate you by buying a new shirt for you. This is what Romans 3 is telling us. All of us have sinned and spilled an enormous amount of kool-aid on God’s holiness. He is angry and his wrath that we deserve is about to be poured on us. But Christ has come to bear the wrath for us! He has propitiated God by the shedding of His blood. Now all those who place their faith in Him will never experience that wrath but will enjoy the smile of God for all eternity.
Has your sin been propitiated? If you are trusting in Christ the answer to that is yes. If you are not…well you know the answer.