Friday March 17, 2023
2 Corinthians 5:15
He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves,
but for Him who died for them and rose again.
In all religions we come in contact with the notion of the human race that sinners cannot approach God without atonement.
In His revelation of salvation God confirms this apprehension. God gave His chosen people a means of atonement in order that they might abide God’s holy wrath and not be consumed by it. They were given a substitute, the sacrificial animal, which gave its life in the sinner’s stead.
But the sacrifices of the Old Testament were only a shadow. Christ is the perfect sacrifice. While the high priest went into the holy of holies with strange blood, in Christ the race’s own blood was sacrificed.
Our progenitor, Adam, was our first substitute. He acted on behalf of the whole race. Therefore his sin became the sin of the whole race.
Christ is the Second Adam. It was His task to suffer on behalf of all humankind, to atone for the sin of the whole race.
Wherein did His atonement consist?
In the first place, He took upon Himself our punishment. “The chastisement . . . was upon him.” None but a God-Man could take upon Himself this punishment, the fearful temptations and anguish of soul, even to being forsaken by God.
In the second place, He suffered our penalty voluntarily.
He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. A single moment’s impatience and unwillingness in the mind of Jesus would have nullified the whole atonement and all humanity would have been plunged into eternal perdition.
How much did Jesus have to suffer? He had to suffer as long as people and devils had a single suffering left by which they might torture Him. When He had suffered through the experience of being forsaken by God, Satan had no worse suffering with which to afflict Him. Then Jesus could cry out His mighty: “It is finished!”