Today’s Scripture: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1¬†John¬†2:2

Students from around the world participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee each year. This past year, they competed for national recognition, a reference library, a $2,500 savings bond, and $30,000. For those of you how were wondering, “cymotrichous” was the winning word at the 2012 spelling bee.

In the spelling bee, contestants may ask for definition, origin, use in a sentence, and alternative pronunciations to help them figure out how to spell the word. Today, we will look at the word “propitiation”. The definitions of the word “propitiation” are “satisfaction” and “mercy seat”. What was the mercy seat? The mercy seat was the top of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. It is where the blood of the sacrificial lamb was spilt on the Day of Atonement, and therefore, was the intermediary between God and man.

So how can “propitiation” also mean satisfaction? It is because there was finally a payment that could forgive sins. Even though the Law called for animal sacrifices, they were only a picture of the payment required. Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Christ’s shed blood was the satisfactory payment of sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Death is the necessary payment, and Jesus, being perfect, could offer himself as a substitute to pay for our sins.

He is the propitiation for our sins, both as the “mercy seat” and the “satisfaction” of our sins. He was the intermediary to bring the payment for our sins to God, and His death satisfied the necessary payment for our sin.

That being said, the last part of this verse is also very important, “and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” Christ came that all might be saved. It wasn’t limited to Jews or Gentiles, it wasn’t limited to those who would believe, it was for the whole world. Christ died to offer salvation to everyone who has ever lived. Tell someone of His payment for their sins today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.