Friday, April 06, 2007

Ten things for Good Friday

1. The one who hung on the cross was the incarnate, sinless Son of God.
2. Christ's death is described using number of complementary models in the New Testament:
3. He redeemed us to God by his blood, paying the price of sin and setting us free.
4. Jesus' death was a propitiatory sacrifice that averted God's wrath from us.
5. Christ's death is the basis of our justification by faith.
6. By the cross, Jesus triumphed over sin, death and the devil.
7. The atonement was penal and substitutionary because Christ died for his people's sins.
8. Believers have been crucified with Christ. We must live as those who are dead to sin.
9. The death of Christ did not merely make salvation possible. We are saved by his blood.
10. The atoning death of Jesus is the greatest demonstration of the love of God.


Michael Westmoreland-White said...

The term propitiation is not found in Scripture. Expiation is. Propitiation turns the Living God into a pagan deity who must be appeased.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

BTW, Guy, I don't want to be a gadfly here, but no one else was commenting, so I didn't want you to feel that no one was paying attention. :-)

Exiled Preacher said...

I know that it has been fashionable since CH Dodd to favour expiation over propitiation, but "propitiation" is an accurate translation of words in the hilaschomai word group in at least four places of the NT: Romans 4:25, Heb 2:17, 1 Jn 2:2 & 4:10.

God is angry against sin. His wrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In Christ, God propitiates his own wrath against human beings. That is the measure of his great love for us.

See The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross by Leon Morris for a thorough defence of the propitiatory nature of the cross. Also, the relevant sections of The Cross of Christ by John Stott.

Thanks for your comments. Now at least I know that someone is paying attention.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

While I respect both Morris and Stott, I disagree with propitiation. In fact, although the NT uses (of COURSE!) sacrificial imagery as some of its many ways of talking about the Cross and Atonement, I have never embraced the Anselmian substitutionary doctrine elaborated from those images. Neither am I an Abelardian influence person. I hold to the Christus Victor approach of Classic Christianity.

Exiled Preacher said...

I believe that Christ triumphed over sin, death and the devil at the cross. But he did that by bearing the penalty of his people's sin.

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. The fact that he died for our sins makes him a substitute. The fact that he died suggests that he paid the penalty of sin, because the wages of sin is death.

Our view of the cross must be big enough to take account of all the complementary Biblical models of atonement: redemption, propitiation, reconciliation and victory etc.