Does Mercy Seat Work for You?

How do we understand what Jesus is on the cross?

Romans 3:25 speaks of Jesus as a hilasterion. This is translated in some versions as “sacrifice of atonement,” in others as “a propitiation,” and now the CEB is translating it, “the place of sacrifice where mercy is found.”

The word is used in the LXX (Greek translation of the Old Testament) to refer both to the sacrifice of atonement and to the “mercy seat” inside the holy of holies. So what I’d like to hear from you is whether this “mercy seat” idea works for you as a reading of Rom 3:25. Does it make sense in the verse? Can you see how it’d work? Thoughts?

Here’s the passage:

All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus. Through his faithfulness, God displayed Jesus as the place of sacrifice where mercy is found by means of his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness in passing over sins that happened before, during the time of God’s patient tolerance. (Rom 3:23-26, CEB)

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