The passage we read in our church's worship gathering yesterday is the passage that sticks with me today. In 1 John 2.1-2, John speaks of us having an advocate with God. That advocate, he identifies, is Jesus Christ the Righteous One.
Advocate is an appropriate translation for the word. But think advocate like attorney, not advocate like spokesman.
Jesus is our defense lawyer. He defends us against the charge (and the reality) of our sin. But He doesn't depend on some technicality to get us off. He's not slick-handed and wink-wink-nod-nod at the Judge. There's no witness tampering or malfeasance.
We're guilty. We're caught. We're in trouble.
Jesus advocates as our attorney by taking our punishment and, in so doing, relieving our guilt. If someone has to pay, Jesus has volunteered to be our propitiation.
Propitiation means that He paid our debt that we owed God for our sin AND purchased for us favor with God by His death being pleasing to Him. We, then, are forgiven and made right before God because of Jesus. He stood in our place. He took our punishment. We are counted righteous because He is the Righteous One. Our responsibility is to confess our sin (1.9) and commit to follow Christ (2.3-6).
That's Gospel, folks. That's the best news you've ever heard.