Did Jesus’ Death Satisfy God’s Wrath?

Out of Bounds

I lead worship music at our church and deeply love the song “In Christ Alone”, but have always struggled with the line,

Till on that cross as Jesus died

The wrath of God was satisfied

For every sin on him was laid

Did the death of Jesus satisfy God’s wrath? I think it is important to explore this question carefully. I’d like to propose three considerations, 1) biblical, 2) theological and 3) cultural. The first, which I will gladly retract in light of proof to the contrary, is that there is no direct biblical support for this idea – the Bible never teaches that Jesus’ death satisfies God’s wrath. It does say that his death provided propitiation (“atonement” or, yes, even “satisfaction”) for sins in Romans 3:25 and this is explicitly connected to God’s justice or righteousness there, but this is said to be in demonstration of God’s righteousness here…

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3 thoughts on “Did Jesus’ Death Satisfy God’s Wrath?

  1. “Since God is our life – not just the cause of our coming into existence but at every moment the source we rely on for our life and every good thing that goes with it – rejecting him is to reject our own life, to oppose our own existence. That is what sin is. That is the meaning of the biblical phrase, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Since God loves us with an utterly free and therefore unshakable love, he utterly opposes that sin. He stands unshakably opposed to all that opposes his love. He rejects our rejection of him and pursues us with unquenchable passion. This is God’s wrath against sin.”

    All I can say is wow.

  2. I don’t know why my comment last night didn’t post. Did I break copyright rules by quoting a paragraph from the blog? Anyhow, I loved this. I’m going to have to read it over and over and meditate on it to wrap my mind around it, but it paints such a beautiful — and biblical — picture of our Abba. It resolves the conflict between mercy and judgment in a way that is consistent with the WHOLE of scripture.

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