But, our temporary feelings of satisfaction pale into insignificance when we consider this question: Can God be satisfied? Clearly, we’re going to need to consider a variant meaning of the word compared to, say, the appeasing of our fleeting appetites!
“If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” I John 2:1-2
For God to be satisfied, in this case, means that His wrath is fully appeased through an effective, once-for-all-time sacrifice to take away the guilt of sin – healing the breach caused by our rebellion.
Yes, God IS satisfied – utterly, totally, and universally satisfied – and it has something to do with an advocate for sinners, Jesus Christ.
Satisfied here implies complete, without flaw – when Jesus said, “It is finished!” as He perished on the cross, it meant that satisfaction for sin was now reaching a whole new level. One sacrifice for all sin, for all peoples. A satisfaction that anyone in the entire world could enter into, at any time, and be reconciled with God.
We don’t sacrifice a lamb for our daily sins – that is to go backwards into the time when God was instructing the human race through types and symbols. All those temporary sacrifices were like brush strokes, painting the portrait of the Lamb of God to come who would fully satisfy the wrath of a just God with a perfect sacrifice.
We need no Mass to crucify afresh the body and blood of Christ. We can do no good works to appease God when He has already satisfied His perfect requirements through the giving up of His Son. Our acts of devotion are to be from a wellspring of gratitude and joy that God is satisfied with those who embrace His Son.
We cannot earn favor. We cannot cancel our guilt. We cannot cleanse our own stains. We cannot appease our offended consciences or obey a law that we already despise; and we certainly cannot satisfy a holy God. Our feeble efforts at reconciling ourselves to God through ANY religious observances or good works are like sitting on the beach digging through sand with a bent spoon to try to find a bit of water, when the whole ocean is in front of us. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that God is satisfied – with Jesus Christ. Embracing and following Him, we enter into a rest that nothing else can give: the smile of a satisfied God.
If I put a heaping plate of nourishing food in front of you, and you decide instead to scratch around on the floor looking for crumbs – would that satisfy either of us? So, when God makes abundant provision and we embark on a do-it-yourself project, we stiff-arm the only One who can satisfy.
We can be washed in the ocean of God’s grace. Bent spoons and crumbs don’t bring a smile to God’s heart. Anything that has the trappings of Christianity without the satisfaction of God as its constant heartbeat is simply missing the point.
It is vanity to think that we could satisfy a God who has already satisfied every requirement of His holiness. We can, however, bow to worship and humbly receive His gracious kindness.
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” I John 1:8,9