Christian Pilgrim Forum

Thursday in Holy Week

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We will consider Christ’s Sacrifice in its relation to God and in its relation to man.

1. In relation to God, it was a full and sufficient sacrifice satisfying the Divine Justice.

A satisfaction is, in general, the voluntary reparation made to one who has been injured or wronged. It may be equivalent to the wrong, when the reparation is equal in degree to the offence. It may be suitable when it is proportioned to the powers of him who offers the atonement.

The satisfaction due to God from man could never have been equivalent to the injury or wrong done; therefore Christ made atonement, and His Sacrifice is equivalent, for it is in proportion to the offence; as the offence is infinitely great, so is His satisfaction infinite in its greatness.

An offence is more or less grave according to the exaltation of the person offended. And an expiation is more or less full and perfect according to the dignity of the person who offers expiation. Now God was offended by man’s sin; and it is the God-Man Who makes atonement for that sin.

The distance between God and man was so great that no man could possibly, even measurably, have approached God and made satisfaction for his grave offence. Moreover, the sum of offences was so great that nothing in the world could atone for it.

2. Our Lord Jesus Christ by His Sacrifice for sins became our Expiation. “When He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a Body hast Thou prepared Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I come to do Thy Will (to make a free-will offering), O God. Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering … Thou wouldest not … which was offered by the Law; then said I, Lo, I come to do Thy Will (to make a free-will offering), O God. He taketh away the first (the symbolic Sacrifice) that He may establish the second (the full, perfect, free-will Sacrifice of Christ).” (Heb. x. 5-9.)

He became our Substitute. “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” (1 Pet. iii. 18.) “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us—He took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross.” (Col. i. 14.)

He became our Redemption. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold—but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Pet. i. 18, 19.)

3. Thus we see that Christ, by His full and voluntary Sacrifice of Himself, by His incomparable sufferings and death, made atonement to God for the transgressions we had committed against Him, thus removing the barrier that stood between the just and righteous God and man. That He suffered in our place; a vicarious victim enduring the wrath of God, and the pains due to us for our transgression of God’s law. And that He paid the price whereby we were bought back out of servitude to evil, and set at liberty to serve God in freedom.

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