Saturday, March 08, 2014


TODAY'S SPECIAL: Romans 5:1-21

TO CHEW ON: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:8-10

Yesterday we left Adam and Eve cowering in the trees. No longer did they look forward to meeting with God. The guilt of their disobedience had made a rift between God and them.

Romans 5 talks about how Jesus' death healed that rift by reconciling humanity to God. Reconciliation is just one of many meanings of Christ's death. The grand list below is from the book Lectures in Systematic Theology by H. C. Thiessen, pages 321-329.

"The Meaning of Christ's Death":

1. It is vicarious. "Vicarious suffering is suffering endured by one person instead of another, i.e. in another's place" - p. 321. Jesus' death was a substitute for our (Isaiah 53:5,6).

2. It is satisfaction in that;
  • It satisfies the justice of God. "God rightly exacts the penalty of a broken law. He cannot free the sinner until the demands of justice are satisfied. Christ's death freely satisfied those demands" - p. 324.
  • It satisfies the law of God.
  • It is involved in atonement. To make atonement means literally to cover over so as not to be seen. In Leviticus 6:2-7 we find the means of individual atonement. Leviticus 4:13-20 describes the means of national atonement for national transgressions. In each case a ram acts as the substitute for the sinner(s). The ram's death covers over the guilt of the real criminal, making it invisible to God's eyes. Jesus, in His death, becomes our ram of atonement.
  • It is involved in propitiation. Propitiate means to appease. The Bible often speaks about the wrath of God. Jesus' death appeased God's wrath - Romans 5:9.
  • It is involved in reconciliation. "Closely connected with the idea of propitiation is the thought of reconciliation. The two ideas seem to be related to each other as cause had effect: Christ's death 'propitiated' God, and as a result He is 'reconciled' - Romans 5:10." - p. 327

In plain words:

"In sinning, Adam turned his back upon God. Then God turned His back upon Adam. Christ's death has satisfied the demands of God and now God has again turned His face toward man. It remains for man to turn round about and face God. Since God has been reconciled by the death of his Son, man is now entreated to be reconciled to God" - p. 327-8.

3. It is ransom. It represents the payment of a ransom price - Matthew 20:28. ("This ransom is not paid to Satan ... but to God. The debt that requires cancelling is due to God's attribute of justice; Satan has no legal claim against the sinner" - p. 328).

I don't know about you, but all this makes me say WOW! Only God could have conceived and executed such a grand, all-encompassing, love-and-justice-driven way to heal our rift, to get us together with Him again.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for dying for me. Forgive me for when I have looked lightly on Your death. Help me to live, facing You in reconciliation. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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