The Message in Romans (14)

The Mercy Seat – continued.

“God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith…” Romans 3:25, NET. The literal rendering of the Greek text is: “Whom set forth God a mercy seat through the faith in his blood …” Paul refers to Jesus as both, the atoning sacrifice, and the mercy seat where the atonement took place. Because Paul did so in one sentence, it creates difficulty for the translators, because the order of words in the Greek is significantly different than in the English.

In 2 Corinthians 5:19, NET, Paul states, “In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and has given us the message of reconciliation.” Because God was working in the body of Christ on the cross makes it clear how Jesus could be both, the place of atonement, and the atonement itself. Nothing is impossible For God. Because of what transpired on the cross, it was clear to Paul, as it should be to us, that the body of Jesus Christ on the cross was the “mercy seat,” and the “one who takes away” – the scapegoat.

The difficulty in understanding the intent of putting the sin into the body of Jesus prompted most of the translators to choose the “propitiation” as the appropriate meaning. However, the above verse shows that the “expiation” is a more appropriate word here. Jesus Christ, on the cross at Golgotha, did not appease an angry God; He met the righteous demands of God’s justice, mainly, “the soul who sins is the one who will die…”. Ezekiel 18:20. The reconciliation of sinners to God was accomplished by the removal of sin from the sinners, through the body of Jesus Christ. God, on the cross at Golgotha, poured out His wrath on the sin, not on the sinners. Because God was in Christ on the cross, makes it clear that Jesus Christ is our “sacrifice for sin, “the mercy seat,” and “the scapegoat,” that took our sin into eternal Abys.

How could it be? Read the next blog.

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Dan Lazich

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