صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

body and mind, above all the fire of divine wrath and desertion. Oh! how hot was that fire with which he was persecuted by men even unto death, and that especially through which he cried out in the bitterness of his soul, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Surely it is also a striking circumstance in the offering of Christ, when we are comparing it with the burnt-offering of the Jews, that it was a voluntary offering. We have seen that he said, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." To this he went, not merely an unresisting, but a willing victim. "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." The intensity of his sufferings was all foreseen; that painful and ignominious death was before his view; yet the free-will burnt-offering was brought by him before the Lord. He felt not indeed his own need of mercy, but he felt the need of a lost and perishing world. O Israel thou hast destroyed thyself, he might have said, but in me shall be thy help. Saviour had not thus

And if the blessed voluntarily offered

himself, from whence could we have found any thing that could possibly have made an atonement? Lebanon had not been sufficient to burn, nor all the beasts thereof for a burnt-sacrifice.

:

а

Is not the excellence and perfection of the offering of Christ strongly impressed upon our minds by the positive injunction that the animal which should be brought as a burntoffering should be perfect in its kind, “a male without blemish ?" Christ was perfect. Consider his human nature. He was born of a pure virgin by the operation of the Holy Ghost he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: his was therefore a sinless and holy sacrifice. But consider his divine nature: here was full perfection. In the human nature there was no taint of sin, in the divine nature there was not a particle of defect. All was complete and perfect in that offering which he presented. Hence, in the language of our communion service, he "made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction,

for the sins of the whole world." Such an offering was indispensibly necessary, whether we consider the nature of God who was to be reconciled, or the purity of the law which had been broken, or the magnitude and multitude of the sins for which it was brought. Nothing less than one so spotless and pure, one of such essential dignity and glory, could avail for such a purpose: and when Jesus, the Son of God, offered himself as a burnt-sacrifice, who does not feel that there was not even a possibility of imputing blemish or defect to it ?

The laying of the hand on the head of the animal before it was slain is another circumstance which calls for some notice in our application of these ceremonies to Christ. This was evidently done, as I have before stated, as an expression of the offerer's desire that the offences, whatever they might be, for which he brought his offering, might be transferred to it, so that the death of the animal should be accepted in place of that to which he was exposed, and he might be clear. Now there is nothing more plainly

[ocr errors]

stated in the gospel, than that Christ died as a substitute. He suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust. He bore our sins in his own body on the tree. This was as expressly foretold by the evangelical prophet as words could express it; "Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;' " he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every man to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." The law, and the prophets, and the gospel, all unite in shewing that the offering up of the body of Christ was truly a vicarious sacrifice, and that he was substituted in our stead. Nay the gospel goes further still, telling us, as I have already quoted, that God made him to be "sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Here is stated a double transfer. Our sins are transferred to him, his righteousness is transferred to us.

The express directions which were given,

and the particular care which the priest was to take that the blood should be sprinkled round about upon the altar, so evidently typifies the blood of Christ that it is scarcely necessary to notice it. New Testament knows

Every reader of the how much our salva

tion is attributed to the blood of Christ. We are justified by his blood; we have redemption through his blood; we are elect unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus; the blood of Christ purges us from dead works; those who were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ; God has made him to be a propitiation through faith in his blood; he has purchased the church with his blood; he sanctifies the people with his blood ; he washes us from our sins in his own blood. I have quoted these many expressions of the New Testament respecting the blood of Christ to shew you the force of the injunctions which were laid on the priests and the people of Israel respecting the blood of their sacrifices, and that by your seeing more clearly the drift of those injunctions, you may understand that the Lord commanded nothing in vain, but

« السابقةمتابعة »