Good Friday: Jesus died to pay a debt #goodfriday

Jesus died to pay a debt! That debt is our sin that separates us from God. Sin is what causes wars, poverty, crime, oppression and even slavery. On Good Friday, Jesus took on my sin. Today, I need to acknowledge that. In fact, every day I need to remember. The penal substitution is central to my faith. The theological yet biblical word “propitiation” is something foundational.

Without it, the death of Jesus simply is seen as a nice plot line in a story that does not have personal, cosmic and eternal consequence. It is re-interpreted as a fuzzy event–not a powerfully life-changing one.  Remember that Jesus paid it all, as that old song says.”Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow..”

1 John 2:2 (English Standard Version)

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

8 comments

  1. Hey Rich,
    it’s been a while! How is the new locale treating you?

    Question for ya…

    I would love to hear how you incorporate some of the other themes from the NT into this particular view of salvation…

    …particularly places like Ephesians and Colossians, where the emphasis seems to be on the victory Jesus won on the cross and the ‘bringing together of all things’ that was accomplished by His death.

    You know a little of where I come from (we’ve had some dialogue on similar topics) but I am interested in how all of this gets put into a cohesive whole for you. It seems most people who talk about ‘penal substitution’ are loathe to incorporate these other scriptural themes into their views on the Cross. Of course, I know some who take the opposite approach (denigrating the concept of payment for sins), but it seems most of the thinkers I am aware of who emphasize the Christus Victor concept are actively including other metaphors as complementary pictures of the work of Jesus on the Cross; what do you make of these lines of thought? Where do they fit into the description of salvation you have espoused above?

    1. Steve, I am not going to get into a theological debate, but if you have a specific question I would gladly answer it. Bringing together all things starts with the sin issue since it began with the sin issue. So, I am not sure “propitiation” is just a description but rather specific term used in Bible to be what it is–propitiation. If you view Jesus satisfying our penalty for sin as NOT a foundational center of the gospel, then I have no idea what to say to you. So many want to add to that, which makes no sense. Jesus is Christus Victor for the death-burial-and-resurrection act. And, the center point of history is that because of His propitiation we can see all creation redeemed. So, they fit very well. Without the idea of the Lamb of God, the redemption of creation is a moot point. It could not happen. We could not have in us Christ the Hope of Glory. The penalty being paid allowed for out adoption and right to become God’s children. All this to say that they fit very well–the ideas of Christ being all the deity He is explained to be in those and other NT Epistles. This cross indeed has catapulted many things, but the beginning of those dominoes of both spiritual blessings and significant effect start with the penalty being paid as foreshadowed in the first animal God provided in the Garden to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.

  2. Hey Rich,
    it’s been a while! How is the new locale treating you?

    Question for ya…

    I would love to hear how you incorporate some of the other themes from the NT into this particular view of salvation…

    …particularly places like Ephesians and Colossians, where the emphasis seems to be on the victory Jesus won on the cross and the ‘bringing together of all things’ that was accomplished by His death.

    You know a little of where I come from (we’ve had some dialogue on similar topics) but I am interested in how all of this gets put into a cohesive whole for you. It seems most people who talk about ‘penal substitution’ are loathe to incorporate these other scriptural themes into their views on the Cross. Of course, I know some who take the opposite approach (denigrating the concept of payment for sins), but it seems most of the thinkers I am aware of who emphasize the Christus Victor concept are actively including other metaphors as complementary pictures of the work of Jesus on the Cross; what do you make of these lines of thought? Where do they fit into the description of salvation you have espoused above?

    1. Steve, I am not going to get into a theological debate, but if you have a specific question I would gladly answer it. Bringing together all things starts with the sin issue since it began with the sin issue. So, I am not sure “propitiation” is just a description but rather specific term used in Bible to be what it is–propitiation. If you view Jesus satisfying our penalty for sin as NOT a foundational center of the gospel, then I have no idea what to say to you. So many want to add to that, which makes no sense. Jesus is Christus Victor for the death-burial-and-resurrection act. And, the center point of history is that because of His propitiation we can see all creation redeemed. So, they fit very well. Without the idea of the Lamb of God, the redemption of creation is a moot point. It could not happen. We could not have in us Christ the Hope of Glory. The penalty being paid allowed for out adoption and right to become God’s children. All this to say that they fit very well–the ideas of Christ being all the deity He is explained to be in those and other NT Epistles. This cross indeed has catapulted many things, but the beginning of those dominoes of both spiritual blessings and significant effect start with the penalty being paid as foreshadowed in the first animal God provided in the Garden to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.

  3. Hey Rich,
    it’s been a while! How is the new locale treating you?

    Question for ya…

    I would love to hear how you incorporate some of the other themes from the NT into this particular view of salvation…

    …particularly places like Ephesians and Colossians, where the emphasis seems to be on the victory Jesus won on the cross and the ‘bringing together of all things’ that was accomplished by His death.

    You know a little of where I come from (we’ve had some dialogue on similar topics) but I am interested in how all of this gets put into a cohesive whole for you. It seems most people who talk about ‘penal substitution’ are loathe to incorporate these other scriptural themes into their views on the Cross. Of course, I know some who take the opposite approach (denigrating the concept of payment for sins), but it seems most of the thinkers I am aware of who emphasize the Christus Victor concept are actively including other metaphors as complementary pictures of the work of Jesus on the Cross; what do you make of these lines of thought? Where do they fit into the description of salvation you have espoused above?

    1. Steve, I am not going to get into a theological debate, but if you have a specific question I would gladly answer it. Bringing together all things starts with the sin issue since it began with the sin issue. So, I am not sure “propitiation” is just a description but rather specific term used in Bible to be what it is–propitiation. If you view Jesus satisfying our penalty for sin as NOT a foundational center of the gospel, then I have no idea what to say to you. So many want to add to that, which makes no sense. Jesus is Christus Victor for the death-burial-and-resurrection act. And, the center point of history is that because of His propitiation we can see all creation redeemed. So, they fit very well. Without the idea of the Lamb of God, the redemption of creation is a moot point. It could not happen. We could not have in us Christ the Hope of Glory. The penalty being paid allowed for out adoption and right to become God’s children. All this to say that they fit very well–the ideas of Christ being all the deity He is explained to be in those and other NT Epistles. This cross indeed has catapulted many things, but the beginning of those dominoes of both spiritual blessings and significant effect start with the penalty being paid as foreshadowed in the first animal God provided in the Garden to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.

  4. Hey Rich,
    it’s been a while! How is the new locale treating you?

    Question for ya…

    I would love to hear how you incorporate some of the other themes from the NT into this particular view of salvation…

    …particularly places like Ephesians and Colossians, where the emphasis seems to be on the victory Jesus won on the cross and the ‘bringing together of all things’ that was accomplished by His death.

    You know a little of where I come from (we’ve had some dialogue on similar topics) but I am interested in how all of this gets put into a cohesive whole for you. It seems most people who talk about ‘penal substitution’ are loathe to incorporate these other scriptural themes into their views on the Cross. Of course, I know some who take the opposite approach (denigrating the concept of payment for sins), but it seems most of the thinkers I am aware of who emphasize the Christus Victor concept are actively including other metaphors as complementary pictures of the work of Jesus on the Cross; what do you make of these lines of thought? Where do they fit into the description of salvation you have espoused above?

    1. Steve, I am not going to get into a theological debate, but if you have a specific question I would gladly answer it. Bringing together all things starts with the sin issue since it began with the sin issue. So, I am not sure “propitiation” is just a description but rather specific term used in Bible to be what it is–propitiation. If you view Jesus satisfying our penalty for sin as NOT a foundational center of the gospel, then I have no idea what to say to you. So many want to add to that, which makes no sense. Jesus is Christus Victor for the death-burial-and-resurrection act. And, the center point of history is that because of His propitiation we can see all creation redeemed. So, they fit very well. Without the idea of the Lamb of God, the redemption of creation is a moot point. It could not happen. We could not have in us Christ the Hope of Glory. The penalty being paid allowed for out adoption and right to become God’s children. All this to say that they fit very well–the ideas of Christ being all the deity He is explained to be in those and other NT Epistles. This cross indeed has catapulted many things, but the beginning of those dominoes of both spiritual blessings and significant effect start with the penalty being paid as foreshadowed in the first animal God provided in the Garden to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.

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