Louisville, Kentucky has been discussing building a new bridge across the Ohio River for as long as I can remember. Everyone agrees that at least one needs to be built, but the astronomical cost has prevented it from becoming more that just a dream. All bridges cost something, and the greater the gulf, the greater the cost. So the big question is: who is going to pay for our bridge?"
Yesterday, I wrote about the enmity sin causes between the lost person and Almighty God. Enmity reminds me of the impassible gulf between the rich man and Lazarus (Lk. 16:26). I gather from what Jesus said, once a lost person dies, there is no more hope of ever reconciling with God. And that is so sad because God has already provided the "Bridge" across the huge gulf caused by our sin; all the lost have to do, while they are still living, is "walk across" Jesus, the one and only "Bridge" (Jn. 14:6).
As I said earlier, bridges cost, and there has never been a bridge so costly as the one required to reconcile man to God. The Word says that the payment for our sin is death (Rom. 6:23). The Bible, in Leviticus 17:11, says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
(Lev. 17:11). In other words, when one's blood has been shed, it means that his life has been taken. God has said in His Word that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission (no payment, no satisfaction) of the debt caused by sin (Heb. 9:22).
But I have wonderful news! God has accepted the death of Jesus in our place as the propitiation of our debt. "Propitiation" in the Greek is ἱλασμός (hilasmos), meaning "an appeasing; a satisfaction of a requirement." It is used three times in the New Testament:
1) "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Rom. 3:25).
2) "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 Jn. 2:2).
3) "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 Jn. 4:10).
Within these three verses, we see that God loves all mankind, that He sent Jesus to shed His blood for all, and that by simply applying the gift of faith we have received (Eph. 2:8), He declares us to be righteous! God has done everything required for us to "enter His presence." He has "built the Bridge." All we have to do is believe it, and walk across to our Father Who waits for us with open arms!" Praise God!!!