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.