Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (I John 4:10).
John Wesley said, “If you show me a worm who can understand a man, then I will show you a man who can understand God.” In our humanist world, sometimes we think that God is at the level of man or maybe just a little bit higher. We think that we'll construct our own devices to work and earn our way to heaven. The truth is that God is as far above man as man is above a worm and even much higher. Do you know any man who would die for a worm? Yet, through the Bible, we know that God (Jesus) came to earth to die for man, specifically you and me. There is no reason, other than love, that Jesus had to do this, yet He did it.
Why did Jesus come to earth to die on the cross for you and me? This verse tells us that it was so that Jesus could be the “propitiation” for our sins. We know from other verses in the Bible that we have studied, that as many good works, rituals, or other efforts that we might make, none of this will take away our sins. Only the blood of a perfect person, Jesus, could take away our sins (Ephesians 1:7). According to the dictionary, propitiate means to “regain the good will” or “appease.” Jesus paid the price of our sins to “appease” God for us.
When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead proving that He is God, He paid the price for all of our sins (past, present, and future), thereby giving us eternal life in heaven, if only we will believe and trust in Jesus and His great sacrifice. But like the airplane that will do us no good if we do not have the confidence to board it, Jesus' sacrifice will do us no good if we do not have enough faith to place our faith in Him and His sacrifice. A great gift is waiting for us. Will we simply, in childlike faith, humble ourselves enough to set aside self and claim it?