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Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:5

Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:5

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1. Romans 3:25 [1] God publicly displayed him [Jesus] at his death as the mercy seat (kapporet ,
hiasterion) accessible through faith (NET Bible)

(a) The word kapporet appears first in Exodus 25:17, where it refers to a piece of furniture
(b) It was placed on the Ark of the Covenant but was different from it—it was not just a lid
(c) It was meant to be the place where God would meet with sinful humanity ones every year on the Day of Atonement [2]
(d) In Romans 3:25, the word hilasterion refers to the piece of furniture mentioned in (Exodus 25:17-22)
(e) i.e., Paul calls Jesus the hilasterion—the seat that was placed on the Ark of the Covenant
(f) (Let’s compare the hilasterion of Exodus 25:17 with Romans 3:25)

2. Comparison between Exodus 25:17 and Romans 3:25

(a) Exodus 25:17

(a1) The mercy seat is a platform/furniture
(a2) Enter with the blood of the lamb
(a3) After the sanctification of the priest
(a4) Through the mediation of the priest
(a5) Once a year on the Day of Atonement

(b) Romans 3:25

(b1) The Mercy Seat is Jesus
(b2) Enter with the blood of Jesus (cf. John 17:19) [3]
(b3) By the faithfulness of Jesus
(b4) By faith in Jesus (to every one)
(b5) 24/7

3. Why does Paul call Jesus the hilasterion?

(a) Per Romans 1:18–3:20, the “wrath of God” is in store for all
(b) All stood guilty before God and thereby liable to be condemned

(c) The Good News is that God offers Jesus as Mercy Seat by whom humanity will be able to come to God

(c1) Accessible by faith in Jesus
(c2) Removing God’s wrath
(c3) Removing the stain of their sins

4. Take Away

Offer spiritual worship to God by presenting your bodies—living, holy, and acceptable (Romans 12:1)


[1] It is part of a long sentence vv. 21-26
[2] Hebrew 9:6-7 “the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people” Also read Lev 14, 16
[3] He [Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God