The Doctrine Of Atonement
6. Recovery Through Christ.
The atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ is for sin; redemption is from sin. The latteris general and special: “He is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe.” ( 1 Tim.4:10).
The Atonement Pre-figured and Predicted
The atonement of Christ is both pre-figured and predicted in the Old Testament. It is seenin the coats of skin prepared for our first parents (Gen. 3:4), in the offering of Abel (Gen. 4:4), inthe Exodus (Exod. 12), in the Levitical sacrificial system, in the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), inthe sin offering (Psa. 22), in the substitutional Saviour (Isa. 53), in the cut off Messiah (Dan. 9:26),and in the smitten shepherd (Zech. 13:6).
There are about three hundred and thirty-three specific Old Testament pictures of thesacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
The Passover Lamb
The lamb selected for the Passover had to be without blemish (Ex. 12 :3, 5), and Peterspeaks of the Christ “as of a Lamb without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19).
The little lamb was slain or killed, Christ is the Lamb slain (Rev. 5:15). “Ye killed thePrince of Life,” said the Apostle. The blood was their protection, “When I see the blood, I willpass over you.” (Ex. 12:13). “We are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.” (I Peter 1:19).The blood had to be sprinkled. (Ex. 12:7). So the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. (I Peter
1:2). “A lamb for a house.” (Exod. 13:3). “This is my body.” “I am the bread:” It was a memorialforever. (Exod. 12:14): “Do this,” said Jesus, “in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22 :14): “Ye shalleat unleavened bread:” (Exod. 12:18): “The unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (I Cor. 5:8).
The atonement in Christ bears certain relationships:
(1) To the Father — It is the outcome of His love, at the same time the measure of that love:”God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten ‘Son, that whosoever believeth in Himshould not perish but have everlasting life:” — John 3:16):
It is to manifest the righteousness of God: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiationthrough faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,through the forbearance of God:”
It is the only basis of reconciliation of man to God: “When we were enemies we werereconciled to God by the death of His Son.” (Rom. 5:10, 11).
(2) To the Law — Christ was born under the law: “When the fullness of the time was come,God sent forth His Son, made of a woman under the law.” (Gal. 4:4):
Christ bore the curse of the law: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being madea curse for us: for it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal: 3:13).
Christ fulfilled the righteousness of the law: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgmentcame upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon allmen unto justification. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by theobedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19).
Christ met all the demands of the law: fulfilled it, that is, filled it up, abolished it: Theceremonial law served as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Having found the Christ, we nolonger need the schoolmaster.
(3) To the Son — The cause of the atonement is found in our sins; “He died for our sins”;but the atonement of Christ with respect to Christ, is found in the following:
In His Death. “If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of HisSon, much more being reconciled, we shall ‘be saved by His life.”
In His Cross. “We preach Christ crucified.” “God forbid that I should glory save in thecross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.”(Gal. 2:29).
In The Blood. “This is My blood which was shed for many for the remission of sins.”(Matt. 26:28).
In His Very Self. “Who His own self bare our sins in His body on the tree.” (I Peter 2:24).
(4) To Mankind — The world. “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of theworld.” (John 1:29).
For sinners. “The just for the unjust.” (I Peter 3:8).
For the individual. Christ “tasted death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9). “Who loved me andgave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).
For His people. “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from theirsins.” (Matt. 1:24).
For the Church. “Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He mightsanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself aglorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it might be holy and withoutblemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27). “The atonement is sufficient for the whole world, it is efficient to thesalvation of those only who repent and believe.” (Binney).
7. Expiation By Atonement.
There are said to be three probable ways of salvation: namely, the claims of the law, thevirtue of works, and by expiation: As to the first, the Word says, “By the deeds of the law shall noflesh be justified:” With respect to the second, it says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”It must, then, be by atonement or expiation. This expiation must come from God in order to bevalid and to avail with Him. It must at the same time belong to humanity. Hence the necessity of theincarnation, God becoming man, the God-man. “There is one God and one Mediator between Godand man, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5).
The appropriation of the benefits of the atonement in Christ to the soul by faith in Himmarks the initial step in salvation from sin, but faith is only possible on the ground work ofrepentance. “Repent ye and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).