Second Chance (1) 2.0

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37And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 

38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 

39And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:37–39 ESV)

Thomas A. Edison was said to be the most influential inventor of America and he invented the light bulb. Edison had a team working 24 straight hours to put just one light bulb together. He gave a young boy helper the finished product to carry it up the stairs. Although the poor boy was very careful with the light bulb, he nervously dropped it. Guess what happened? Well, Edison and his team had to start all over again. The beautiful story is that Edison gave the boy the light bulb again. What do you call it? I call it second chance.

In modern society, second chances might be rare. If you failed in your exam, you might not have a second chance. If you messed up your job interview, you won’t have the job. If you failed in your marriage, you might not have a second chance.

In the Bible, God often gives people a second chance. King David sinned against God, but God gave him a chance to repent. The Apostle Peter had denied Jesus three times in a row, but God gave him a second chance. The Apostle Paul wrongly persecuted the followers of Christ, but God gave him a second chance. God always gives people a second chance. He is the God of second chances.

1) Propitiation (Hebrew 9:5)

5Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. (Hebrews 9:5 ESV)

25God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. (Romans 3:25 NET)

Good Friday

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday, on which Christians remember the Crucifixion of Christ.

Revealing God’s Mercy

Good Friday reveals God’s mercy. God’s Mercy is rooted in His goodness and love. The God that we believe in is good. The God that we know is loving and He continues to give human beings second chances. In a nutshell, Easter Friday reveals God is the God of second chances.

Reflecting God’s Mercy

On Good Friday, as Christians, we reflect on God’s mercy. As God is merciful towards us, we should reflect God’s mercy in our lives as well. I must admit being merciful to others is not that easy. If our loved ones wronged us, being merciful to them might not be easy at first. But, if our enemies hurt us, being merciful to them would seem impossible. On Good Friday, let us determine to reflect God’s mercy in our lives.  

The Passion of Christ

Good Friday is all about the suffering of Jesus. In Romans 3:25, the Apostle Paul spoke of the passion of Christ.

The Passion of the Christ

Have you watched the film The Passion of the Christ? It is a movie directed by Mel Gibson. It has many graphic scenes depicting the violent suffering and death of Jesus.

The Sinless Christ

Jesus is sinless but He suffered for our sins. Jesus is perfect and He is the Son of God, but He died for our wrongdoings on the cross. Let us remember Jesus and be thankful to Him. Through Him, we have received the second chance of forgiveness from God.

The Propitiation (Romans 3:25)

25God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. (Romans 3:25 HCSB) 

In another Bible translation, it says: 

Romans 3:25 (NET) 

25God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. (Romans 3:25 NET)

As you can see, the word “propitiation” can be translated as “mercy seat”.

Mercy Seat

Mercy Seat is the golden cover for the ark of the covenant. It is about 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. It was made of pure gold and had two angels (cherubim) on top of it (Exodus 25:17–22). The mercy seat is a representation of God’s presence on earth. Here is a drawing of the mercy seat.

Mercy Seat

The Day of Atonement

In the Old Testament, the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, and where the Lord promised to meet His people (Exodus25:17, 22; Leviticus 16:2, 14, 15). If you refer to Romans 3:25, Jesus is the propitiation or the sacrifice of atonement (ESV, NIV), or rather, He is the mercy seat (NET). In simple terms, Jesus is the mercy seat.

The Tent of Meeting

Before the Israelites built their temple in Jerusalem, they worshipped in the tabernacle, or the tent of meeting. Here is a diagram of it. There are six furniture in the tent of meeting: On the top of the diagram, you can see the ark in the Most Holy Place. In the Holy Place, you can find three furniture, that is, the Altar of Incense, the Golden Lampstand and the Table of Showbread. In the courtyard, there are the Bronze Basin and the Altar of Burnt Offering. Interestingly, the arrangement of the six furniture forms the shape of a cross.

Jesus was being Flogged

On Good Friday, Jesus was being flogged by the Roman guards. The horrific flogging had torn up His back.

Whipping Boy

Have you heard of the term “whipping boy”? In modern English, a “whipping boy” can be seen as a scapegoat, fall guy, or sacrificial lamb. In the old days, nobles had tutors educating their children. Usually tutors punished their students by whipping. As nobles had many slaves and they assigned a slave boy to grow up with their son. Since they grew up together, they were close to one another. When the noble kid made a bad mistake, his tutor would punish him. Instead of whipping the noble boy, the tutor would flog the slave boy. By doing so, the tutor would inflict emotional pain on the noble boy.

Jesus Was Flogged on Behalf of Us

As you can see, Jesus is like a whipping boy, He was flogged on our behalf. Jesus was innocent. Jesus was the scapegoat. Jesus was whipped because of our numerous lies, hidden sexual sins and countless despicable wrongdoings. Because of our sins, we inflicted physical pain on Jesus. As Jesus was flogged, we should feel the emotional pain as well.   

Jesus Was Crucified

For the sins of all humankind, Jesus was nailed on the cross. The iron spikes pierced through His wrists and feet. Blood gushed out from His wounds, staining the whole cross. In the Old Testament, the high priest sprinkled the sacrificial blood on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement. In the New Testament time, Jesus the high priest sprinkled His own blood on the cross, that is, the mercy seat.

Jesus Wore the Crown of Thorns

The Romans mocked Jesus by forcing Him to wear the crown of thorns. Drop by drop, the blood dripped from His forehead, staining the cross. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

Jesus Is the Propitiation

Good Friday speaks of the “Propitiation” or the “Mercy Seat” of Jesus. In the Old Testament time, God promised to meet His people on the Day of Atonement, (Exodus 25:17, 22; Leviticus 16:2, 14, 15). On the day Jesus died, God promised to meet with us at the cross. The Apostle John proclaims, He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2 ESV) As Jesus is the propitiation or the mercy seat, on this basis God forgives all of our sins. Based on the propitiation of Jesus Christ, all human beings would have a second chance of living our lives rightfully.

2) Admission (Hebrews 10:19)


If you want to watch a movie in a theatre, you need to have a ticket. Based on the ticket that you have, you can enjoy watching the movie.

Good Friday

Good Friday is about “Admission” to God’s presence. By the blood of Jesus, we can access to God. The author of Hebrews declared in saying, And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.”

The Tearing of The Veil

On the day when Jesus was nailed on the cross, a strange cosmic phenomenon occurred, that is, from noontime to three o’clock, the whole land was engulfed in darkness (Luke 23:44-45). When Jesus died, He uttered a loud cry, and the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. In between the most holy place and the holy place, there is a veil separated the two compartments. The tearing of the curtain is a symbol – a new way open for all human beings into God’s presence (Heb. 10:19–20). In the Old Testament times, only a high priest could enter the most holy place, offering blood sacrifices to God. As Jesus died, God’s saving grace is available to all through the death of God’s Son (cf. Hebrews 9:6–28; 10:19–22; Matthew 27:51–53). In simple terms, all people who confess to be Christ followers can enter into God’s presence. Easter Friday is about admission to God’s presence. Many of us claim to be Christians, but do we have the certainty that we are granted admission to God’s presence? The key is that, we must be born-again. In simple terms, only God’s children are granted admission to God’s presence. 

Access to God

16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16 NLT) When Adam and Eve our ancestors sinned, they were kicked out of the garden of Eden, that is, they couldn’t enjoy God’s presence anymore. Is that too harsh? As God is holy and He lives in unapproachable light, no sinners can approach Him without dying. Many people see God as a mean figure, but in fact, He is merciful and kind. God loves human beings so much that He wants to commune with us all the time. By means of the cross, all Christ followers can access to God directly. As the veil was torn apart, all sinners can enter the most holy place and meet with God at the mercy seat. Through the power of the cross, all broken people would have a second chance in Jesus Christ. Good Friday is a symbol of admission to God’s presence. Through the death of Jesus, all believers are granted admission to God’s presence.


Communion is a good illustration of admission to God’s presence. Before we became believers in Christ, we are barred from God’s presence. But, by the sacrificial blood of Jesus, we can access to God’s presence now. The communion bread is a symbol of Christ’s body and the grape juice is a representation of Christ’s blood. As Jesus loves us so much, His body was broken for us, His blood was shed for our sins. And for this very reason, believers are granted admission to God’s presence.


Prayer is a vivid illustration to show us that Christians are granted admission to God’s presence. Many Christians wrongly perceive that praying is an obligation, but in fact, it is a blessed privilege. By means of praying, we come to God’s throne that we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16). As a pastor, I would have moments of being disheartened as well, but every time when I do have such feelings, I can come before God for consolation and strength. Likewise, you can do the same thing.    

3) Reconciliation

Jesus Prayed for Us

On the cross, Jesus prayed for all humankind, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 ESV)

Paul’s Explanation

The Apostle Paul talks about reconciliation in Romans. In his own words, he says, 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:9–11 ESV)

The Enmity between God and Humankind

As we all are sinners, there is enmity between God and humankind. Due to the estrangement between God and human beings, God asked His Son to become the atonement. By means of Christ’s death on the cross, believers are reconciled to God. A Bible scholar reckons that “Reconciliation is a vivid word, pointing to the making of peace after a quarrel.”

Adam and Eve

Our ancestors Adam and Eve sinned and they became enemies of God. God was angry with them and they were kicked out of God’s presence because of that. Sin is an act of abject disobedience. Sin are deeds of being disrespectful of God.

Don’t Play with Fire

Let me give you an example. You told your son not to play with fire at home. Not only he played with fire, he burnt down the whole house. How would you react to that? Would you tell your son, “Never mind, we don’t like the house anyway! We will buy a new one!” Of course, you wouldn’t say a thing. Being angry at your son is normal. By the way, your son is not a teenager but a thirty-year-old man. 

Don’t Do Drugs

Another example. You told your teenage daughter not to mess with drugs. But not only she messed with drugs, she turned your house to be a drug joint. Of course, you would be angry with her decision.


10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. (Romans 5:10 NLT) Reconciliation speaks of the broken friendship between God and human beings was restored by the death of Jesus Christ. Reconciliation is a personal relationship. God has done His part, that is, Jesus had already died on behalf of our sins, and our part is to respond, that is to say, to receive Jesus as our Savior. 

Easter Friday

Easter Friday speaks of reconciliation. As sinners, we all can reconcile to God. Since God has provided all human beings a second chance, if you were an outsider of the Christian faith, you should grab this precious opportunity.

Reconcile with Others

In Matthew 5, Jesus told us that we should reconcile with others. In short, God has given us a second chance, and so should we. Dear friends, give your boss a second chance. Your parents may have wronged you – give them a second chance. It’s hard not to fight with your siblings – give them a second chance. Relationship can be a tricky thing – give your boyfriend or girlfriend a second chance. Marriage can be rocky at times – give your spouse a second chance. You might have an unfortunate childhood – give yourself a second chance.

Churchill and Hitler

Many people around the world respect Winston Churchill. Many Brits see him as a war hero. On the other hand, most normal people despise Adolf Hitler. Do you know that they had similar childhoods? They were both unhappy as a child. However, the two of them chose a very different path. Churchill chose to defend his country. Hitler chose to destroy others.


I hope you can remember a word “PAR”. People often say, “up to par”. P stands for “Propitiation”. A represents “Admission”. R is “Reconciliation”. These three words testify to the fact that God is the Lord of second chances.

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