Message to all users:

Super Member Subscription

As most of you are aware, we had a crash to forums and were down for over two days a while back. We did have to do an upgrade to the vbulletin software to fix the forums and that has created changes, VB no longer provide the hybrid or threaded forums. There are some issues/changes to the forums we are not able to fix or change. Also note the link address change, please let friends and posters know of the changed link to the forums. For now this is the only link available, but if clicking on forum on homepage it will now send you to this link. (edited to add https: now working.

Again, we are working through some of the posting and viewing issues to learn how to post with the changes, you will have to check and test the different features, icons that have changed. You may also want to go to profile settings,since many of the notifications, information in profile, also to update/edit your avatar by clicking on avatar space, pull down arrow next to login for user settings.

Edit to add "How to read forums, to make it easier."
Pull down arrow next to login name upper right select profile, or user settings when page opens to profile,select link in tab that says Account. Then select/choose options, go down to Conversation Detail Options, Select Display mode Posts, NOT Activity, that selection of Posts will make the pages of discussions go to last post on last page rather than out of order that happens if you choose activity threads. Then be sure to go to bottom and select SAVE Changes in your profile options. You can then follow discussions by going through the pages, to the last page having latest responses. Then click on the other links Privacy, Notifications, to select viewing options,the forums get easier if you open all the tabs or links in your profile, user settings and select options. To join Super Member, pull down arrow next to login name, select User Settings and then click on tab/link at top that says Subscriptions.

Thank you for your patience and God Bless.

Diane S
See more
See less

Expiation, Blood and Atonement

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Expiation, Blood and Atonement

    by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

    Senior Editor of Touchstone Magazine, and archpriest of All Saints Orthodox Church in Chicago, IL, Fr. Patrick is, perhaps, the most erudite writer in the Orthodox Church in North America today. This article, one of his Pastoral Ponderings, was published by Orthodoxy Today.

    Among the biblical concepts supporting St. Paul’s theology of atonement, one of the most important, surely, is that of expiation. What does the Apostle mean when he writes,
    “God set forth [Jesus Christ] as the expiatory in His blood” (Romans 3:25)?
    Although this is the only time St. Paul uses the noun hilasterion, I believe that the full context of his epistles, along with the Old Testament substratum on which they depend, provides the correct and adequate meaning of that term.

    If I seem to belabor an obvious point–that we should go to the Bible for enlightenment on the subject of expiation– let me say that I do so from a sense that some readers of Holy Scripture in recent centuries either have not done so, or have done so inconsistently. They have borrowed misleading ideas from elsewhere.

    In classical and Hellenistic Greek, the verb “to propitiate” (hilaskomai), when used with a personal object, normally signified the placating of some irate god or hero. It is a curious fact that since the rediscovery of ancient Greek literature in the West, beginning from the Renaissance, there has grown a strong tendency to impose this pagan meaning of “expiation” on the teaching of the Bible.

    Understood in this way, Paul is presumed to teach that Jesus, in His self-sacrifice on the Cross, placated God’s wrath against sinful humanity. That is to say, the purpose of the shedding of Christ’s blood was to propitiate, to assuage an angry Father.

    Let me say that this interpretation of the Apostle Paul is very erroneous and should be rejected for three reasons.

    First, this picture is difficult to reconcile with Paul’s conviction that God Himself is the One who made the sacrifice. How easily we forget that the Cross did cost God something. He is the One that gave up His only-begotten Son out of love for us. It was Jesus’ Father
    “who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).
    Sacrificial victims are expensive, and in this sacrifice the Father Himself bore the price. He gave up, unto death, that which was dearest and most precious to Him. In the death of Jesus, everything about God is love, more love, infinite love. There is not the faintest trace of divine anger in the death of Christ.

    Second, in those places where Holy Scripture does speak of propitiating the anger of God, this propitiation is never linked to blood sacrifice. When biblical men are said to soften the divine wrath, it is done with prayer, as in the case of Moses on Mount Sinai, or by the offering of incense, which symbolizes prayer. Because blood sacrifice and the wrath of God are two things the Bible never joins together, I submit that authentic Christian theology should also endeavor to keep them apart.

    Moreover, when the Apostle Paul does write of God’s anger, it is never in terms of appeasement but of deliverance. At the final judgment, when that divine anger, far from being placated, will consume the realm and servants of sin, Christ will deliver us from it, recognizing us as His faithful servants (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 5:9). There will be not the slightest hint of appeasement at that point.

    Third, the word hilasterion, which I have translated as the substantive “expiatory,” seems to have in Paul’s mind a more technical significance. In Hebrews 9:5, the only other place where the word appears in the New Testament, hilasterion designates the top, the cover, of the Ark of the Covenant, where the Almighty is said to throne between and above the Cherubim. In this context, the term is often translated as “mercy seat,” and it seems reasonable to think that this is the image that Paul too has in mind.

    On Yom Kippur, the annual Atonement Day, the high priest sprinkled sacrificial blood on that hilasterion,
    “because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions of all their sins” (Leviticus 16:16).
    Therefore, by saying that God “set forth” (proetheto) Jesus as the expiatory, or “instrument of expiation,” for our sins, Paul asserts that the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross fulfilled the prophetic meaning and promise of that ancient liturgical institution of Israel, reconciling mankind by the removal of the uncleanness,
    “their transgressions of all their sins.”
    The Cross was the supreme altar, and Good Friday was preeminently the Day of the Atonement. The removal of sins was not accomplished by a juridical act, but a liturgical act performed in great love:
    “Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).
    Loving both the Father and ourselves, Jesus brought the Father and ourselves together by what
    He accomplished in His own body, reconciling us through the blood of His Cross.
    In the Bible,
    “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).
    The victim slain in sacrifice was not the vicarious recipient of a punishment, but the symbol of the loving dedication of the life of the person making the sacrifice.

    This sacrificial dedication of life is the means by which the sinner is made “at one” with God.

    Such is the biblical meaning of expiation and the proper context in which to interpret Paul’s teaching on the sacrifice of Christ.
    Last edited by 4Him; 02-03-19, 12:47 PM. Reason: no violation
    In accordance with the Apostolic faith delivered to us by tradition from the Fathers, I have delivered the tradition, without inventing anything extraneous to it. What I have learned, that I inscribed, comfortably with the Holy Scriptures

  • #2

    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23


    • #3
      I somewhat agree with this author and somewhat don't. There were seven feasts in the ancient Jewish calendar.

      Passover - Unleavened bread - First fruits - Pentecost - Trumpets - Day of atonement - Tabernacles

      Jesus fulfilled the Passover in his Passion and crucifixion. He fulfilled the feast of unleavened bread in his burial. He fulfilled the the feast of first fruits in his resurrection from the tomb. And Pentecost was fulfilled with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The three fall feasts remain unfulfilled. Expiation is a removal of sin or something that is permanent. We can be forgiven in this life by claiming the merits of Christ by faith but the struggle against sin and temptation remains. The Day of atonement is a full and complete removal of sin so that we return to the state of Adam and Eve before the fall.

      The feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled by the trumpet judgments that come on the world in Revelation chap. 8,9. Before the trumpets are sounded an angel at the heavenly altar of incense offers a cloud of incense before the throne (Rev. 8:3) which was similar to the Yom Kippur ceremony when the high priest entered the most holy of the earthly temple.

      The Day of atonement itself is found in Rev. 11:19 - And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.....And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. (Re 15:8)

      The feast of Tabernacles was when the Israelites constructed booths out of the things of the earth to live in for seven days. Which seems to have it's fulfillment with the seven last plagues (Rev. chap. 16) where the people of God or latter day saints flee the cities and live off the land while the seven last plagues are falling on the wicked.

      So the true Day of Atonement will be fulfilled in the last days when sin is permanently removed from the hearts and minds of God's end-time saints.


      • #4
        bump for Pascha
        Born into RCC and baptized into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as commanded in Matthew's gospel. Received the power, seal, and gift of the Holy Spirit in 2011.