The priest was a person divinely appointed to transact with God on man?s behalf. He fulfilled his office, first by offering sacrifice, and secondly by making intercession. In both these respects Christ is priest.
<580724> Hebrews 7:24-28 ? ?he, because he abideth forever, hath his priesthood unchangeable. Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, Like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. For the law appointeth men high priests, having infirmity but the word of the oath, which was after the law, appointeth a Son, perfected for evermore.? The whole race was shut out from God by its sin. But God chose the Israelites as a priestly nation, Levi as a priestly tribe, Aaron as a priestly family, the high priest out of this family as type of the great high priest, Jesus Christ. J. S. Candlish, in Bib. World, Feb. 1897:87-97, cites the following facts with regard to our Lord?s sufferings as proofs of the doctrine of atonement:
1. Christ gave up his life by a perfectly free act,
2. out of regard to God his Father and obedience to his will,
3. the bitterest element of his suffering was that he endured it at time hand of God,
4. this divine appointment and infliction of suffering is inexplicable, except as Christ endured the divine judgement against the sin of the race.
1. Christ?s Sacrificial Work, or the Doctrine of the Atonement.
The Scriptures teach that Christ obeyed and suffered in our stead, to satisfy an immanent demand of the divine holiness, and thus remove an obstacle in the divine mind to the pardon and restoration of the guilty. This statement may be expanded and explained in a preliminary way as follows:
(a) The fundamental attribute of God is holiness, and holiness is not self- communicating love, but self-affirming righteousness. Holiness limits and conditions love, for love can will happiness only as happiness results from or consists with righteousness, that is, with conformity to God.
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