1 John 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

How can I know God loves me? God does not seek to prove His love to you except in one place, and that one place is meant to be sufficient for you. That one place is meant to be so sufficient and spectacular that you should never, ever doubt the love of God again. Beloved, whenever Satan or circumstances cause you to challenge or doubt the love of God for you, the one place that God tells you to look to as the singular proof of His love is the cross. For it is at the cross that God demonstrated His love for you once and for all. And when did God demonstrate His love you? While you were yet a sinner. While you were a rebel. While you were His enemy. While you were ungodly. (Romans 5:6,8,10)

1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God showed His love to us by Christ’s death for us while we were still sinners. The Father sent Jesus to take away our sins in order that we might have fellowship with God. The communion elements are meant to remind us that God manifested His love for us at the cross. And God’s whole purpose in this is that you might live. Jesus came that we might have life (John 10:10a). The life that we have is oneness with God. It is Zoe or the life of God. Real life, age-abiding, eternal life. Beloved, Jesus didn’t come to make your life miserable or to destroy you, but to give you life. “Follow Me” is a call to a holy life. A call to a life with purpose. A call to a life of hope beyond the grave. Propitiation means “mercy seat”; it is the same as the Old Testament word “atonement”, meaning “to cover”. In the tabernacle in the Holy of Holies there was the Ark of the Covenant. On top of that ark was a highly ornamented lid crowned with two cherubim of solid gold, facing each other and looking down upon the lid of the box. The lid was called the mercy seat. It was here that the nation of Israel met God in the person of the high priest. Once a year, and only once a year, the high priest came into the Holy of Holies, bringing blood to be sprinkled on the mercy seat. That is what made it a mercy seat, because they could meet God only in that way. This was the way they were to come to God. On that great Day of Atonement, the high priest went in and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. That meant that the nation was accepted by God for another year, and then they would need to go through it again the next year.

Now here John writes that the Lord Jesus Christ is called “the propitiation for our sins”, which means that He is the mercy seat for our sins. Jesus Himself is the mercy seat, because He died on the cross for us: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). He has made expiation for our sins so that you and I can come with boldness to God’s throne of grace. That throne is now a throne of grace because there is mercy there for us. That is what Christ did, and that is the singular way that God demonstrated His love for us.