The Message in Romans (18)

Why did God display Jesus as the Mercy Seat?

 “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:25, 26, NIV. The phrase “sacrifice of atonement” reads “as the mercy seat” in the Greek. A growing number of translators are choosing the “mercy seat” as a correct translation. The earlier blog showed that Jesus was both, the sacrifice for sin, and the means by which the sin was removed from the sinners. Jesus was both, the “mercy seat” and the “scapegoat,” on the cross at Golgotha.

“To demonstrate his righteousness” shows that God hates the sin but loves the sinners. God’s justice requires that sinners must die forever immediately upon the commission of sin. However, God, because of His love, did not punish the sinners until the Savior of the world would come. The humankind had to die for sin because the sinners could not inherit eternity. God wants us to be with Him forever and, therefore, He demonstrated His justice by destroying our sin and our sinful life forever. In exchange, God granted us the perfect and eternal life of Jesus Christ.

By removing the sin from the sinners through the body of Jesus Christ, God justified us, restored His image in us, and qualified us for eternity with Him, in Jesus Christ and Him only. We, here and now, live as justified because Jesus remained faithful to His mission. The manuscript in the Greek language reads, “justified by the faithfulness of Jesus” and “those who live because of the faithfulness of Jesus.” The righteousness by the faithfulness of Jesus becomes our personal experience when we trust Jesus, or by faith in Jesus, we accept Him as our Savior and the Lord.

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Dan Lazich

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