I can't get my mind around it
Did you see the largest picture ever taken? 1.5 billion pixels. NASA took a picture of the universe that engenders awe and at the same time a sense of fatalism. We are but a small speck within the enormous swirling universe. I have to say that thinking about all the galaxies was over wheming because I just can't get my mind around its size. I see it, but I can't really comprehend it.
Yet, my inability to fathom the vast universe pales in comparison to God's holiness. To think that God holds his creation in the palm of his hand, and seeing the enormity of it all redirects my awe and wonder from the creation to the creator. God is utterly Holy.
Holiness is positional and personal. God is positionally outside of His creation, and He is personally holly. The latter describes his character as utterly beyond our understanding. We sing songs "Holiness, holiness is what I long for" but we really don't understand what that means.
God is holy other, and therefore is the standard by which all things are judged. We are commanded to be holy, but it is impossible for us to achieve what is beyond our comprehension. We see holiness as being separate from the world, unstained by sin. This is the smallness of our understanding of holiness. If we were truly able to achieve holiness we would be like God, but stand beneath the night sky and meditate on the endless stars and then understand how helpless we are before a Holy God.
If we truly understood God's holiness we would trembled at the sound of his name. His holiness demands that we be like him and we can't. Our sinful and rebellious nature stands in opposition to God's nature. We transgress His will and it separates us from God forever. The scripture says we are the objects of his wrath, that part of his character that disallows all sin.
That is the beauty of propitiation. God's wrath against sin demands satisfaction. Sin must be punished, and since it is an eternal spiritual problem it calls for an eternal solution. Jesus, being the only perfect person, is the only one who was able to stand in the place of man. Jesus' humanity allowed him to die in our place, his deity allowed it to last forever.
Man reacts at the need for propitiation; it sounds barbaric. Their response is natural because they don't understand God's nature of Holiness, the magnitude of its demands, and how our sin offends the heart of God. I believe in His holiness by faith, but if not for the illumination of the Holy Spirit I too would find it appalling.
It is the propitian of Jesus' death that sets the stage and hope of our salvation, it is the basis on which all the other blessings of God flow. When I faintly grasp the minuscule nature of man in compassion to the universe, it blows my mind to think that an even greater God choose to identify himself with me, talking on the form of a man, dying on the cross, rising agains, and calling me son, I have to stop and give thanks. And then, when I stop to truly meditate on the Holiness of God I have to respond as the Apostle did in Romans 11:33,
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
I'm just saying...