And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (I Jn. 2:2)
All have sinned, disregarding God’s Law, giving Him reason to be offended. For God to be consistent with His Law and His nature, He must recognize this. Consequently, it is only right and just for Him to punish all people, banishing them from His presence. But His love for mankind caused Him to find a way by sacrificing His Only Son. When one yields to Jesus, God removes His wrath because He paid the penalty for sin, reconciling reconciles the believer to the Father. He is the propitiation, He paid the debt, He is the atonement, for the sins of the whole world—yesterday, today, and forever.
There is a story about a bridge master who loved his son more than life itself. The son loved his father too and spent many hours sitting on the riverbank watching his dad in the bridge booth. One day he sat on the edge of the river, fishing. His father sat in the bridge booth smiling as he watched his beloved son. A large tugboat approached. The father raised the bridge, then went to the back of the room to make a picnic lunch for them. The son was puzzled because his father had not lowered the bridge. In the distance the son heard a train whistle. He desperately tried to get his father’s attention. Finally, the young boy ran to the tracks, pulled open a trap door, and struggled to reach the leaver lowering the bridge. When the father returned with their picnic lunch, he was terrified to discover that his son had lost his balance and fallen through the trap door, unable to escape. If he closed the bridge with his son trapped underneath, it would crush and kill him. If he left the bridge open, the train would crash into the river, sending its passenger to a watery grave. He knew what he had to do . . . With tears in his eyes, heart throbbing, and hands trembling, he closed the leaver, killing his one and only son whom he loved.
Think of the emotions our Father in Heaven must have gone through when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the chasm between Himself and man. When you place your faith in Jesus, God freely receives you, no matter what. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down His life for his friends (Jn. 15:13). Today, won’t you thank your heavenly Father for sacrificing His only Son for you? Jesus, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin.