25 Whom [hos] God [theos] hath set forth [protithemai]
to be a propitiation [hilasterion] through [dia] faith [pistis] in [en] his [autos] blood [haima], to [eis] declare [endeixis] his [autos] righteousness [dikaiosune] for [dia] the remission [paresis] of sins [hamartema] that
are past [proginomai], through [en] the forbearance [anoche] of
God [theos]; KJV-Interlinear
25 whom God
put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was
to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed
over former sins. ESV
Whom, refers to Jesus Christ. God has set forth, ‘protithemai,’ means to place in public view, to put on display in a conspicuous manner, to make it very clear to one and all, that it is Jesus Christ and no other, that through Him, the means of salvation is and was secured.
To be a propitiation, ‘hilasterion,’ means to be a covering, to be an appeasement, to be satisfied.
And so Jesus Christ became the mechanism for the application of the justice of God, against sin, in order to pay the price of sin, as demanded by righteousness, in His death, which is the spiritual death, but also the physical death that came after the work of the Cross, to demonstrate that God had won the victory over not only sin, but over death as well.
The remission, ‘paresis,’ is the passing over or to the pardon of sin. God can pardon sin, after the payment of sin has occurred.
But before the cross, there were thousands of years and many generations of people, world over, that had been sinning daily and regularly, and yet none of them were wiped out, because of the lack of a savior.
But God had made a promise, and it was that promise, which looked forward to the event of the cross, to which God could place a delay or a deferment on the penalty of sin, because of the certainty of the occurrence of the work of Christ and the cross.
Jesus came into this world, to secure our salvation.
He lived the perfect life and fulfilled the Mosaic Law. He caused miracle after miracle to substantiate His identity. He broke no laws, broke no regulations, did nothing wrong. And yet humanity turned against Him, falsely accused Him, tried Him in six separate trials through the night and on a holy day violating mans own rules, just to be rid of a very good man.
Man executed God, as it were, to demonstrate mans absolute incompetence, and evil hate against the very foundation of good.
And so, Jesus was taken to the cross and humiliated and abused and killed.
And in so doing, His work in that effort, became acceptable to God, and so Jesus became the very essence of propitiation, a covering, a satisfactory work, which God accepted as thorough and complete.
Sin was a rejection of truth and of good and of God. Righteousness demanded that sin be tried and convicted and obliterated. Justice was the means of that action.
That opened the way for God to accept man, since now mans sins had been paid for in full, and to pardon man, because of his sins, because the payment of the price for sin had been fulfilled.
Note that the cross did not forgive sins, but paved the way for forgiveness.
The cross paid the price of sin and secured victory over sin and death. Once removed, then God can now forgive. This is why we have confession, because we continue to sin, but we must recognize our sins before God, time and again, and God is faithful and just to forgive.
There is no double jeopardy here. Sin cannot be tried twice, but it can be pardoned and forgiven over and over, again and again.
God passed-over the sins of humanity until the time of the cross, and when the cross had become a reality, then salvation became a reality as the promise had been fulfilled.
This too, is why all Old Testament believers went to paradise instead of heaven, as prisoners of sorts, due to the delay in the historical event of the cross. But once the cross had occurred, then Christ led all of the prisoners out of paradise and into heaven.
Now in our time, since we are after the cross, when we die, we go directly to heaven. We are not trapped by an argument of debate or by a rule of law, which no doubt Satan puts forth in his attempts to defeat God.