the offer

September 9, 2015

christ on cross

There are many scripture passages that speak of the death of Christ as a sacrifice, for example:

1 Cor. 5:7—“For even Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us.” (AV)
Eph. 5:2—“Christ … gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV)
Jn. 1:29—“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (NASB)

The Bible views this sacrifice as intimately connected with one aspect of His person and work, namely, His priesthood. The function of a priest is to offer sacrifice. And Christ is qualified both to be a priest and to do the work of one.

Our Lord is specifically called a high priest in several places: Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 15, 17. In each place the writer to the Hebrews links Him with Melchizedek, the striking figure of Gen. 14:18–20. There are two purposes for the unusual passage of Heb. 7:1–28: (1) to show that Christ’s priesthood is superior to that of Aaron, and (2) to show that it lasts forever: it cannot be quenched by death. The consequences of this are: (1) Aaron’s priesthood was no longer needed; and (2) Christ’s priesthood, since it lasts forever, is the final priesthood. Hence if Christ can get us to God, He can keep us there forever.

In the Bible a priest is one who works as an intermediary, attempting to take us to Him (see ch. 17, The Church, where teaching and priestly activity are distinguished). The best kind of intermediary is one who understands both sides. The author of Hebrews presents Christ as One who understands both sides because He has the nature of both sides:

1. Heb. 1:8—“Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever” (addressed to the Son; AV). Along with other verses, this demonstrates His deity.
2. Heb. 2:9–18 is a lengthy exposition of His humanity. It is necessary to recall something concerning the nature of the incarnate Son of God. He was (and is) fully God and fully human. He had two natures that were united in one Person forever. And because deity was present in this Person, He could not sin. A priest who is sinless can offer a perfect sacrifice. Christ offered Himself (Heb. 9:25–26): all other priests offered the blood of animals (9:25). Christ was thus both priest and victim. So, His service as a priest was acceptable before God (He was sinless, obedient, and eternal) and His sacrifice was acceptable before God (it was spotless and didn’t have to be made for Himself [Heb. 9:7]).

Whereas the Levitical priests had to enter the tabernacle continually (9:6), Christ’s sacrifice was given once. In five places (9:26, 28; 7:27; 9:12; 10:10) the author uses two different and very pointed Greek adverbs to indicate finality of the sacrifice. Furthermore, it lasted forever (10:14), was made not in an earthly sanctuary but in heavenly one (9:11, 24), did what animal sacrifices could never do (9:12; 10:4), and was spotless (9:14). All this amounts to a perfect sacrifice in the sight of God.

The result of a perfect sacrifice is perfect access to God. We will examine below some of the other accomplishments of the death of Christ, such as redemption and propitiation. But there can be no greater achievement than that a lost sinner can obtain perfect access to God. All of the other benefits of the death of Christ are details of the achieving of this access. Access to a holy God is the goal and end of salvation.

As I so often say; “thank God”, literally, really, thank God that He has provided the way back to Himself through the gift of His Son.
And No I didn’t forget, (yes I really did) our bible giveaway winner was Randy Hayes, from Niagara Falls New York. Congrats.
Please remember Kim and her fight against cancer.
Matt and Rose to be victorious over their current struggles
For godly leadership, (it seems to be lacking)
For Patti L, and the passing of her father
Send your comments, questions and prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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