“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth as a propitiation-cover through faith in His blood, for the showing forth of His righteousness…” (Romans 3:23-26)
Big word — “propitiation-cover”.
But it has a profound meaning.
In the Old Testament the propitiation-cover was called the mercy seat.
The propitiation-cover was the lid on the ark.
It was where God met with His people.
Why was there a lid and why did God meet with His people there?
Within the ark were the Ten Commandments, as a testament of who God is, exposing and condemning the sins of people who came to contact God.
How could the righteous God meet with sinful people?
On the Day of Atonement (Exo. 25:17, 21) the blood of a bull was brought from the altar and sprinkled on the lid, on the propitiation cover.
When man came in to meet with God, the righteous God looked toward the law
But all He could see was the blood.
The blood on the cover satisfied all His righteous requirements.
And God was happy.
God could be propitious towards man and man was propitiated to God.
Propitious—the problem between man and God was now appeased, enabling God to forgive and be merciful to man.
That was the Old Testament.
So, what about now?
Jesus Christ is the real propitiation cover
• Whom God set forth as a propitiation place through faith in His blood, for the demonstrating of His righteousness, in that in His forbearance God passed over the sins that had previously occurred (Rom. 3:5)
• Hence He…might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Heb. 2:17)
• And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world.(1 John 2:2)
And the real propitiation
Not a bull, not a goat, but the real offering for our sins.
When He shed His blood, the law was silenced and now it can no longer speak against us.
Now God is appeased by Christ’s work in solving all problems between us and God.
Because Christ has become our propitiation place, we can come forward boldly (without fear) and meet God face to face.
God can see the blood, be satisfied, and meet with us and speak with us.