Good Friday 2014 - "Sunnyhill" Herne Bay Evangelical Free Church

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The Perfection of Christ's Atonement


Reading: Lk.23:32-49

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is:

  • Unique

  • Efficacious

  • Final


Unique
Christ did not repeat his own sacrifice of Himself.

Heb.10:14 "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."


Heb.9:28 "Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."


Christ secured the Atonement with no help or participation of men or of angels:

1Pet.2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."


When he offered himself he performed a high priestly function which only He, by reason of His unique person and dignity, was qualified to do.

Heb.7:26-28 "For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever."


If Christ saw no need to repeat this sacrifice of himself then no man should take it upon himself to try to do so. No man has been commanded to do so and no man other than Christ himself could meet the standards required of such a high priest.

Christ is our supreme example and his devotion in procuring the Atonement shows us the type of whole-hearted commitment the Father demands of us

cf. Mt.20:27-28 "and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Phil.2:5-8 "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."


1Pet.2:21-24 "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly."


But nowhere are we asked to participate in what he did in securing the Atonement. We are called to be obedient to God's commands but our obedience does not make anyone right with God!

Rom.5:19 "For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous."

Even were to die because of our loyalty to Jesus Christ and his example this would do nothing to:

  • remove guilt

  • propitiate wrath

  • reconcile the world to God

  • secure redemption


All these categories belong exclusively to Christ.

Efficacious
The atonement brought about by Jesus Christ was completely adequate to meet the desired end:

He purged our sins:

Heb.1:3 "He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"


He reconciled us to God:

Rom.5:10 "For 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."


He accomplished redemption:

Heb.9:12 "he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."

Rev 5:9-10 "And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.""


He is the propitiation for our sins:

1Jn.2:2 "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."


It was not a token obedience that Jesus rendered to God; He fulfilled all righteousness, and being made perfect He became the author of eternal salvation:

Mt.3:15 "But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.""

Heb.5:9 "And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,"


It was not token sin-bearing that He endured; the Lord laid on Him the iniquities of us all and He bore our sins:


Is.53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

1Pet.2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."



Final
The reconciliation Jesus wrought was of such a character that it guarantees the consummating salvation:

Rom.5:9-10 "Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For 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."

Rom.8:32 "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"


He purchased the church by His blood and obtained eternal redemption:

Acts 20:28 "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood."

Heb.9:12 "he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."


We can sum up Christ's atoning work by saying that he and he alone has both secured and insured the consummation that will take place in the resurrection of life:

Jn.6:39 "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day."



 
 
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