A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 23

Atoning Death of Jesus

In this lesson, you'll grasp the core of atonement: triumph, substitution, and example. Explore Genesis 3:15, divine wrath, and the parallels between Abraham and Isaac, gaining insights into Christ's redemptive work.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 23
Watching Now
Atoning Death of Jesus

I. Introduction

A. Overview of Atonement and Its Complexity

II. Three Trajectories of Atonement

A. Triumph Theme

B. Substitution Theme

C. Example Theme

III. Propitiation and the Wrath of God

A. Examining the Concept of Propitiation

B. The Agony of the Father and Son in Providing Propitiation

C. Understanding the Wrath of God

D. The Satisfaction of Wrath Through Sacrifice

IV. Extent of Atonement

A. Atonement for Everyone

B. Application of Atonement

V. Conclusion

  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Atoning Death of Jesus
Lesson Transcript

Well, I want to talk a little bit here about the atonement, the work of Christ. And I mean there's so much. I did the four books with Mark Driscoll and Death by Love is our book on atonement. Of the four books it's the only one she ever read. She's not a theologian. And she likes what I do, but not enough to read it. It's really true. But I mean, she's an incredible woman, a wonderful Bible teacher, but Death by Love, she likes. She uses it in Bible study with her ladies because it's looking at different dimensions of atonement and she has found that very helpful. McNall, what's first name? Did the Mosaic of Atonement, looks at four different themes of a very creative... I think it's Thomas McNall, Oklahoma Wesleyan. But there are different dimensions of atonement. I want to unpack a little bit with that. I've got some stuff in your notes here, just a bunch of references.

And when I think about atonement, the work of Christ, there are basically three trajectories. The first trajectory is triumph. Well, actually quit doing this, Gary. Get the Bible open. Okay, look at the Bible, Genesis 3:15. Genesis 3:15, this is the proto-euangelion, the first hint of the gospel because after Adam and Eve do their thing, he comes after the serpent who is a true enemy and curses him. Then he says, "I'll put enmity between you and the woman." Well, you as the serpent. "Between your offspring."

Now, what is the offspring of the serpent? Is that little snakes? Well, no, I don't think it's literally little snakes. I do think it's the demonic realm and I think it's the people who worship the serpent and worship the other demon gods. So this is a group of people who worship the serpent or his other spiritual powers and her offspring. I think that's Messiah and those who worship him. So in maybe between the realm of darkness, dominion of darkness, and the kingdom of light. But then it goes on. "He," individual, "will crush your head." Who is the he there? He will crush your head. Who is the he?


That's Messiah. That's when he comes. He will crush serpent's head. Use the serpent. If you crush the serpent's head, what does it do? It kills him. "And you," serpent, "will," if we translate literally, "crush his heel," Because it's the same words. NIV translates crush and strike, but it's the same Hebrew word. What happens when the serpent strikes or crushes Messiah's heel? I've heard it preached a lot of times, "Oh, all the serpent can do is tap him on the heel." No, no, no. This is a viper. When a viper grabs you by the heel, it kills you. So I look at that, "He will crush your head." That's the triumph theme of atonement and that's a vital theme of atonement is the triumph theme. Messiah will triumph over the works of the devil and, "You will kill him." That's substitution. Messiah will take our death. It's the first hint of what we call substitution. Now, these are both hints of what's developed a lot later on. So right in Genesis 3:15, we have triumph first and substitution second, but they're side by side. It just annoys me to no end how many good theologians skip triumph and go directly to substitution.

The third track of atonement doesn't show up here, but that's the example theme. Jesus lives exemplary life in his death to show us how to live, and I think all three of those are there. So these are three basic directions or themes of atonement. Triumph is toward the powers and he triumphs over them. There is the subjective, which is example, showing us how to live. And there's what's I'm going to call the objective toward God, which is substitution and such. Hi.

So those three things, triumph, substitution and example. If you read John Stott's Cross of Christ, which is a magnificent book on atonement, it's on my all time favorite list: triumph, substitution, example. He develops all three of those very well. So what I want to do is unpack these a little bit. So I've got substitution in there and I'm just going to look at a couple of passages on each one.

Substitution, I've got a whole list of them here. But the clearest one is when you go back to Isaiah. If I go back to Isaiah chapter 53. He's talking about this one who is despised and rejected by mankind, and we could do a lot with that. We won't do it at this point. But down at verse five, it's at 53:5. "He is pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was on him. By his wounds, we are healed." Verse six, "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. It's clearly substitution, his death is our death for our benefit.

I mean, we could unpack a lot more of the substitution, but the question is, does he take our penalty? And there's a lot of people now that says, "No, he doesn't take our penalty. He just dies the victim of oppressive powers." And he does die as a victim of oppressive powers, but the death that he takes in this theological unpacking, and I've got the verse, I'll let you look him up. It is our penalty, death taken in our place. So that because he took our penalty, we receive his forgiveness.

So Colossians chapter two, super, super powerful passage. Colossians 2:13, "When you were dead in your sins and uncircumcised your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins," and there's a comma," having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness which stood against us and condemned us. He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross." So this charge of legal indebtedness, because we've sinned, we carry the penalty of sin, he has taken it away. What did he do with it? He nailed it to the cross. That's clearly talking about the crucifixion of Jesus. And the penalty of our sins is laid on him. So it's not just Old Testament, Isaiah 53, it's all over the New Testament as a well.

And then coming out of that, verse 15, "Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphed over them by the cross." So here we see substitution, the forgiveness of sins coming by substitution, 2:14, and triumphed over the hostile powers in 2:15. And they're put right side by side there in this very compact passage from Paul in Colossians chapter two. So substitution.

Sacrifice, I am not going to spend any time on that because here comes the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Well, everybody know the lamb of God is, it's the Passover lamb. His death is done on Passover, which says he is that Passover lamb. It's pictures of the Day of Atonement. There's all kinds of stuff going on there. The debate, and it's a big debate, is the term [foreign language] and [foreign language], which is... Well, yeah, let's look at it.

If you go to Romans chapter three, Romans 3:21, again, super packed passage, which I'm not going to unpack for you here except for just a bit of it. "Now, apart from the law, the law of righteous God has make known, the righteous given through flesh. No, difference between Jew and Gentile." Verse 24, "We were all justified freely by his grace through redemption that came through Jesus Christ." And verse 25 is the key thing. "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement," and that's the word [foreign language], "through the shedding his blood to receive by faith. And he demonstrated righteousness because he left sins unpunished."

This sacrifice of atonement, which is a good translation. But the question here is this word [foreign language], which is behind that particular phrase, has three different meanings to either the verb [foreign language] or the noun [foreign language], which I've summarized on your handout here. The definitions: one is to satisfy the wrath of God by payment of a penalty. That's propitiation in English. To cleanse the people from sin, which would be expiation in English. Or the mercy seat or the place on the altar, which is where in the Day of Atonement the blood is sprinkled.

So, [foreign language], the question is does it mean appeasing the wrath of God by blood? That debate. That there's a cleansing involved, both cleansing people and cleansing the temple and the mercy seat where it's done. So the mercy is a place where the blood is sprinkled, but it's also a place where God's glory is revealed. We see that all packed up in Romans three. The debate, and it's a big debate right now, does the sacrifice on the cross satisfy the wrath of God? And so, let me take you to the word [foreign language].

Well, first ask is the wrath of God real? And Bill laughed over here. All you got to do is know the Bible. Is the wrath of God real? Yes. Why is he so angry? Because people are worshiping and serving other gods who are narcissistic power hungry abusers, and we worship and serve them. We become like them and God gets angry about it. I hate it when dads beat up their kids. God hates it when dads beat up their kids. He hates it more than I do. Does he get angry? Yes. It's not a capricious anger, it's a righteous anger. And it's all over the Old Testament. I mean, we can do a lot of stuff there. It's in the New Testament as well.

But John three is the love chapter. God so loved the world, so loved the world. Look at John 3:36, "Those who do not believe, the wrath of God abides on them." So you normally have the love of God in John 3:16, you have the wrath of God in John 3:36. For those who reject God's forgiveness in Jesus, the wrath of God abides on them.

So does the Old Testament word [foreign language] just means to cover over sin? Or does it mean to actually provide atonement for sin, talking about the Old Testament sacrifices? The term [foreign language] does mean cover, but the idea is... Well, I had one of my core students, she's quite a character. We went to lunch at class and so I was walking with her and a couple other students and we went in. As we came up to order a meal, suddenly she realized she'd left her purse back in the classroom. "Oh man, I don't have my purse." And I said, standing beside her, "Because you're my favorite people in the world," I said, "don't worry about it. I got you covered." What did I mean when I said I got you covered? "I'll pay the price for your meal." That's what the word [foreign language] basically means. It is cover but not in the sense of cover it to hide it, but cover it to take care of it. And you can look up in HALOT, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, the Old Testament, and see what that means. I'll leave it at that.

What about the term [foreign language]? I want to look at a picture. Genesis 32, one of the funniest stories in the Bible. Genesis 32, Jacob. Genesis 43, good guy or bad guy, Jacob.

And from there?

Well, not so much. Jacob, good guy or bad guy.

Starts off as a bad guy.

He's kind of a bad guy all the way. I think he gets a little better toward the end, but he's not your paragon of virtue. Don't ever turn you back on the man, he'll put a knife in it and steal your stuff. Now, he ran away from home because what? That's what he did to Esau. And mommy said, "Get out of town because Esau's going to kill you." So he gets out of Dodge and goes out and plays a manipulative game over with Laban. Now, he's headed home and there's a problem. What's the problem if he gets back home?


Esau. Ay, yi, yi, yi, yi. So the story here, it's really a fun story if you start working through it. He sends some people out. In verse six, the messenger returned to Jacob and he said, "Hey, we met Esau your brother, he's coming to meet you. Yay. He's got 400 men with him." "Oh no," Jacob says. I mean he is just, "What am I going to do?" Great fear and distress, he does all this stuff. "If Esau comes, he's going to kill us all."

So he says, "Hmm, I'll tell you what I'm going to do." Verse 13, he spent the night there and from what he had, he selected a gift for his brother Esau. Now, this is quite a gift: 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels, a young 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, 10 male donkeys. That's a major gift. And he says, "Go ahead of me. And when you see Esau, he says, 'What's this about?' You're to say, "They belong to your servant Jacob. They're a gift for my Lord Esau.'" This is called boot licking or however you want to talk about it. This wonderful gift. Why does he do this? In verse 20 is a key verse. "Be sure to say, 'Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.'" And here it is, "For he thought, 'I will pacify him. I will appease him.'" That's the word [foreign language].

Does it mean satisfy with a gift? Does it mean appease anger with a gift? Unmistakably, that's a meaning of the term. And there are a lot of people who says, "No, that's never what it means." It does mean it. And this is unmistakable. Now, does it mean that in the idea of Jesus? I think it does. But let me mess with you a little bit more. Tim Keller, I mean he's toward the end of his career now with the cancer. By the time you watch this, he may already be dead. Magnificent man of God, tremendously influential in the age. And one of his favorite sermons is, "Why does Jesus die whimpering and whining and the martyr church die singing songs of triumph? How come Jesus such a wuss?" Well, he isn't a wuss. What he says is, "He had to drink the cup of white-hot wrath of God." So the Father pours out his wrath on the Son and Jesus will experience the white-hot cup of God's wrath and he uniquely will do that. The Father pours his wrath out on the Son. The son willingly takes it. That's his metaphor of propitiation.

I don't think that's the case. I don't think that's the case. The Father pouring out just wrath on the Son who drinks a cup of wrath willingly, I don't think that's the case. The cup, is that the cup of divine wrath? There's certainly a cup of wrath in the Old Testament. There's actually bowls of wrath in Revelation. And I'll just shorten this thing. If I look in Matthew 20, mommy comes to Jesus. This is Matthew 20, verse 20, "What do you want?" Jesus said. "Grant it so one of her sons may sit with you at your right hand, left hand in the kingdom." What does she want? Place of privilege for her kids. Now, the kids have put her up to it to be sure. And what Jesus says is Matthew 2022, "You don't know what you're asking." And he said to them, "Can you drink the cup? I'm going to drink?" And they say, "Well, of course we can." Not knowing what they're talking about. 23 is what Jesus said, "You will indeed drink my cup."

Is it the cup of divine wrath? Do the disciples drink the cup of divine wrath? The answer is no. What other cup do they drink? The cup of suffering and death. They will drink that cup. I think Jesus identifies the cup not as the cup of divine wrath, but the cup of suffering and death. What about divine wrath? Is it real? Yes, but the Passover, remember that's the day he's crucified on. What happens at the original Passover? Daddy gets a lamb. And what does he do with the lamb?

Kills it.

No, before that.

Comes into the house.

He brings it into the house and treats it like one of the kids. Now, nobody in their right mind would bring a lamb in the house and treat it like a kid. Lambs are filthy little beasts. Bring that lamb into the house and treat it like a kid for, I don't know how long it is, a week or so then what do you do? Kill it. Put the blood on the doorpost. And what happens to the wrath? It passes over. Where does that wrath go? On the lamb? No, it goes on the ones who don't have blood on their post, the wrath comes on them full-blown. What about the wrath that was aimed at that house that has blood on it? It's appeased. It's satisfied. Nobody's mad at the lamb. Yeah, the lamb is killed. But daddy's not mad at the lamb. Nobody's mad at the lamb. They have atonement. You got two goats. Goat number one, what do you do? Kill it. Take the blood in the Holy of Holies, sprinkle of blood on the [foreign language], on the mercy seat. Who's mad at that goat? Nobody, but the goat's blood is what cleanses and I think satisfies the wrath of God.

Isaac and Abraham, Genesis 22. [foreign language], the bending. God says to Abraham, "Take your son, your only son, your beloved son, slaughter him, slice him up and burn him." Do you recognize "your son, your beloved son," that kind of stuff? Yeah, that's applied to Jesus. Isaac, little laughter, is clearly, clearly, clearly a picture of Jesus. So if Isaac represents Jesus, who does Abraham represent? If Isaac represents Jesus, who does Abraham represent?

The Father.

The Father. What does Abraham do with Isaac?

Spares him.

He puts him on the altar there in Genesis 22. I mean, it's quite a story, you work through it. They're headed up the mountain, Isaac says, "Daddy." "Yeah, son?" "You got the fire and the wood, but where's the lamb?" And Abraham says, "God himself will provide," past, present, future. Future, God will provide. They get to the place. He's not a little guy. He carries wood up a tall mountain. He's a strong kid. Binds his son and lies in the altar, reaches and takes the knife to slaughter his son. [foreign language]. By the way, this is the one who will be incarnated as Jesus later on. The Angel of the Lord says, "Stop. Don't land a hand on the boy for now I know you fear God." Abraham looked in there in the thicket. He saw a ram caught by its horns. What do he do with this ram caught by its horn? He sacrifices in place of his son. God will provide, there's the lamb. There's the ram. Nobody has to tell him, "Take your son off the altar and put the ram on the altar." He does it.

But verse 14, Abraham called that place [foreign language]. The Lord will provide. Past, present, and future. But the ram's already been sacrificed. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided." It's still future, at least at the time of writing of Moses, 500 years later. That mountain is named what? Mount Moriah. What else happened in that mountain? 2 Chronicles chapter three. That's where Solomon built the temple. What's the name of that mountain?


Mount Zion. What else happened in that mountain? It's also called Mount Calvary. Now, Carl Laney, my archeologist friend, "No, it's not the same mountain. There's a valley between them." Yeah, it's like 500 meters. Come on, lighten up Carl. That same mountain is where Jesus is going to be crucified. On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided. I think Isaac, Jesus, Abraham, father, gives us a prophetic picture of what's going to happen on that same mountain 2000 years later.

What is Abraham feeling as he takes his son up the mountain knowing he's going to slaughter his son? I can't even put myself in the place. I've got two fine sons, there is no chance I would slaughter either one of them. I'd say, "Send me to hell and get a better boy." The agony of the Father is pictured in this sacrifice. When you say the just wrath of Father poured out on the willing son, you miss the agony of the Father. Agony of the Son, yes, but I think it's the Father and son partnering together, both agonizing to do the propitiatory sacrifice, the appeasing sacrifice, to satisfy the wrath.

But the wrath of whom? Go to Revelation. Revelation chapter six, this is the four horsemen, the apocalypse thing. And down toward the end of that thing, the kings of the earth are hiding in caves saying, "Fall on us to hide." This is Revelation 6:16, "Fall on us to hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne." Who sits on the throne? In Revelation, who's sitting on the throne?


Who sits on the throne? Revelation four. The Father. "Hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne," the Father, "and from the wrath of the lamb, for the day of their wrath has come." So I think the Father pouring out wrath on the Son, misses the agony of the Father. It misses the wrath of the Son.

So my summary of that would be yes, there is propitiation. That sacrifice does satisfy the wrath of God and it just disappears. It doesn't go anywhere. Wrath is not like water. If wrath is satisfied, the pain behind it is satisfied, the wrath disappears. I think the Father and Son partner together, both agonizing, to provide the propitiatory sacrifice that will satisfy the just wrath of the Father and the Son. I'd like to get the Holy Spirit in there too, but the Bible doesn't help me out. But I can give you his anointing power and all that. So I think propitiation is real. I think wrath of God is satisfied in the sacrifice like the propitiation that happens in the Passover. But it's not the wrath has to go somewhere. It's satisfied.

So to use my earlier example, if I offend Robin desperately, and I know that she's really mad at me because I used her as an example in the earlier lesson while she was still sleeping. And she's highly offended, let's say, and I, "Oh my, I want Robin to continue being my friend." So I bring her a really nice, whatever is the make-

Dark chocolate.

Dark chocolates. Okay. And I like-

Caramel covered chocolates.


Dark though.

You're my woman, no doubt about it. I bring you a whole jar of Sanders chocolates, sea salt, dark chocolate, caramel. And I bring them to you with, "I'm so sorry." And hand them to you with a bow, in both hands and all that kind of stuff. What happens to your wrath? You punch out that thing. No, it's satisfied, it goes away. And you being the gracious woman that you are, "I forgive you, Gary, even though you're a jerk." See, wrath doesn't have to go somewhere If the pain behind it is satisfied. And we treat wrath as a commodity like water that has to go somewhere. I don't think that's it.

Now, it is the Father sacrificing the Son. And that's horrible agony on both sides. It is a sacrifice of atonement, that's why I like that translation, that satisfies the just wrath of the Father and the Son against the sin. And I think that's where it comes out. There are other themes in there, and I'll leave those for your working on the redemption reconciliation, triumph example. Those are all in there.

But I think when you think about this, how far the Father was willing to go. Can a holy God have sin in his presence? Can a holy God have sin in his presence? Yeah, we saw it already. Genesis three, he comes to Adam and Eve. Isaiah six, he comes to Isaiah. We can't go waltzing in his presence thoughtlessly, but he can come to our presence. So he can come to us and do his holy work and he does and it's through a sacrifice of atonement. But it's also a triumph over the dark enemy and it's example, 1 Peter two, we're called to look at his example of Jesus' death and be like that. Be willing to even lay down our life for enemies. So his death is an example for us of how we're willing to go.

So triumph, substitution, example, three categories and there are categories under all of those and a lot to be unpacked there. It's amazing. It's absolutely amazing. It's absolutely amazing. And I'm going to skip the whole thing about the extent of the atonement, for whom does God die and tell you that I think it's really clear in scripture dies in the way of providing atonement for everyone. 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 2:14, the references are in your handout. And rather than unpack that, I'll just leave it for you to think about. But I think he provides atonement for everyone. But then it has to be applied. And if you're more Calvinistic, the Father will apply it. If you're like me and more Arminian, it does in different ways. If you're Wesleyan, the Father applies it to believers. If you're a limited atonement, call yourself definite atonement. And that the idea that he actually purchases propitiation and it's finished at the cross.

But still you have to have an application and I'm going to skip the whole thing. In many ways, I think it's a fruitless controversy, it only divides. It's more about words than it is about actual concepts because he's the savior of all people, especially of those who believe, 1 Timothy 4:10. And there are ways to settle that, but I'll leave that for another time.

The power of Jesus's work on the cross is tied to his birth, life, death, resurrection, exaltation, pouring of the spirit, the whole thing. But at the cross, that's that substitutionary sacrifice and it does satisfy the wrath of the Father and the Son, does provide an example for life, does provide cleansing for us. It's a magnificent work and we praise him for it.


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