Katallagee, (See "ATONEMENT"; SACRIFICE; PROPITIATION.) Romans 5:10-11; "we were reconciled ... being reconciled ... we have now received the reconciliation" (the same word as the verb and participle). The "reconciliation" here cannot be that of ourselves to God, or having its rise in us, for we then should not be said to "receive" it, but that of God to us. We have received the laying aside of our enmity to God would not be sense. Hebrew ratsah "to associate with," "to be satisfied" or appeased. Katallagee, diallagee, is "the changing of places", coming over from one to the other side. In 1 Samuel 29:4 (yithratseh zeh 'el 'adonaayw), "wherewith should this man (David) reconcile himself to his master (Saul)?" the anger to be laid aside was not David's to Saul, but Saul's to David; "reconcile himself to Saul" therefore means to induce Saul to be reconciled to him and take him back to his favor.
So Matthew 5:24, "be reconciled to thy brother," means, "propitiate him to lay aside his anger and be reconciled to thee." So 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, "God hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ," i.e. restored us (the world, 2 Corinthians 5:19) to His favor by satisfying the claims of justice against us. The time (aorist) is completely past, implying a once for all accomplished fact. Our position judicially in the eye of God's law is altered, not as though Christ's sacrifice made a change in God's character and made Him to love us. Nay, Christ's sacrifice was the provision of God's love, not its procuring cause (Romans 8:32). Christ's blood was the ransom or price paid at God's own cost to reconcile the exercise of His mercy with justice, not as separate, but as the eternally co-existing harmonious attributes in the unchangeable God. (See RANSOM.)
Romans 3:25-26, "God in Christ reconciles the world to Himself," as 2 Corinthians 5:19 explains, by "not imputing their trespasses unto them," and by in the first instance satisfying His own justice and righteous enmity against sin (Psalm 7:11; Isaiah 12:1). Katallassoon, "reconciling," implies "changing" the judicial status from one of condemnation to one of justification. The "atonement" or reconciliation is the removal of the bar to peace and acceptance with the holy God which His righteousness interposed against our sin. The first step towards peace between us and God was on God's side (John 3:16). The change now to be effected must be on the part of offending man, God the offended One being already reconciled. Man, not God, now needs to be reconciled by laying aside his enmity against God (Romans 5:10-11). Ministers' entreaty to sinners, "be ye reconciled to God," is equivalent to "receive the reconciliation" already accomplished (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In Hebrews 2:17 Christ is called "High-priest in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for (hilaskesthai, "to expiate") the sins of the people." Literally, "to propitiate (in respect to) the sins," etc. God's justice is (humanly speaking) propitiated by Christ's sacrifice. But as God's love was side by side from everlasting with His justice, Christ's sacrifice is never expressly said to propitiate God (but Hebrews 2:17 virtually implies something like it), lest that sacrifice should seem antecedent to and producing God's grace.
God's love originated Christ's sacrifice, whereby God's justice and love are harmonized. By Christ's sacrifice the sinner is brought into God's favor, which by sin he had justly forfeited. Hence his prayer is," God be propitiated (hilastheeti) to me who am a sinner" (Luke 18:13). Christ who had no sin "made reconciliation for (le-kafr "pitch", covered) the iniquity" of all (Daniel 9:24; Psalm 32:1). (See PITCH; ATONEMENT.) "Man can suffer, but cannot satisfy; God can satisfy, but cannot suffer. But Christ, being both God and man, can both suffer and also satisfy. He is competent to suffer for man and to make satisfaction to God, in order to reconcile God to man and man to God. So Christ, having assumed my nature into His person, and so satisfied divine justice for my sins, I am received into favor again with the most high God." (Beveridge).
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