Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 14

BEADS OF JOY 3-08-12 “Propitiation For Our Sins”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 14
My Friends,

We'll start this by saying the word propitiation should be defined and explained before we begin. I too am a student to the full meaning of this as I begin what I have found here. So let's you and me take a look at a most incredible, important word that has way more insight and meaning than even I thought as I began this study.

Propitiation (prō-ˌpi-shē-ˈā-shən): an atoning sacrifice.

The meaning on its surface appears simple, yet this noun has much more meaning to it than simply that. Jesus is our Advocate, "And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2. God's anger must be appeased; His wrath must be consumed by having someone sacrificed in order to pay for the sins of not only Adam, but of the whole world. The only sacrifice that would be acceptable before God and that would meet all the requirements that once they have been met; allow us to once again have a relationship with God is Jesus. It is only in this sacrifice that all those requirements are met, and that is that the blood of God's only begotten Son to be sacrificed on a cross.

When sin came into the world it brought death with it, and the soul thus died for all eternity. And because of this sin, the plight that would destroy all mankind; the only way this can ever be reconciled with God, was through the death of God's one and only Son. It is by the shedding of His blood that our souls would be redeemed. I pray that all this is beginning to really make sense now. Jesus Christ is the all sufficient propitiation for our sins. Jesus offered Himself knowing well that His death alone would appease the Father and that by His death would reconcile us with God. So God in all His wisdom sent His Son so that He can save not only the Jews, but everyone.

This study has us look deeper into a more complete understanding of the full scope of propitiation. That in turn leads us into a clearer understanding to the meaning of a more familiar word: sacrifice. We find this word in scripture approximately 357 times depending upon your version. Here is a verse that gets straight to the point and does well in linking the two thoughts together, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10. We further look into scripture and find another verse deepening our insight. "Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself." Hebrew 9:26

Sacrifice (ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs): 1. an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially: the killing of a victim on an altar 2. something offered in sacrifice 3. destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else 4. something given up or lost

We can see now how Jesus' blood cleansed all the world of sin. His sacrifice was made acceptable before God. The Passion of the Christ is truly and most likely the place to experience this best; especially after learning all this. Not only do we see, but now better understand what has taken place. Jesus suffered a most horrific death for us. He was beaten to the point that probably most likely no one could have endured without dying during the beatings alone.

Today's Challenge: Today I offer this challenge, spend some serious time watching and experiencing, "The Passion of the Christ" Mel Gibson's version is most likely the closest to the severity of how much our Lord suffered. I believe He suffered even more than what was depicted here. Watch it often, every day if you could. I did that for almost a year. You will cry, you will begin to understand, your love for Jesus will deepen, your relationship with Him will become more real.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS