foundation of the world? implies the existence of a principle in the divine nature which requires satisfaction, before God can enter upon the work of redemption. That principle can be none other than holiness.
Since both mercy and justice are exercised toward sinners of the human race, the otherwise inevitable antagonism between them is removed only by the atoning death of the God-man. Their opposing claims do not impair the divine blessedness, because the reconciliation exists in the eternal counsels of God. This is intimated in <661308>Revelation 13:8 ? ?the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world.? This same reconciliation is alluded to in <198510>Psalm 85:10 ? ?Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other?; and in <450326> Romans 3:26 ? ?that he might himself be just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus.? The atonement, then, if man was to be saved, was necessary, not primarily on man?s account, but on God?s account. Shedd, Discourses and Essays, 279 ? The sacrifice of Christ was an ?atonement ab intra, a self-oblation on the part of Deity himself, by which to satisfy those immanent and eternal imperatives of the divine nature which without it must find their satisfaction in the punishment of the transgressor, or else be outraged.? Thus God?s word of redemption, as well as his word of creation, is forever ?settled in heaven? ( <19B989>Psalm 119:89). Its execution on the cross was ?according to the pattern? on high. The Mosaic sacrifice prefigured the sacrifice of Christ; but the sacrifice of Christ was but the temporal disclosure of an eternal fact in the nature of God. See Kreibig, Versohnung, 155, 156.
God requires satisfaction because he is holiness, but he makes satisfaction because he is love. The Judge himself, with all his hatred of transgression, still loves the transgressor, and comes down from the bench to take the criminal?s place and bear his penalty. But this is an eternal provision and an eternal sacrifice. <580914>Hebrews 9:14 ? ?the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God.? Matheson, Voices of the Spirit, 215, 216 ? ?Christ?s sacrifice was offered through the Spirit. It was not wrung from a reluctant soul through obedience to outward law; it came from the inner heart, from the impulse of undying love. It was a completed offering before Calvary began for the Father saw it before it was seen by the world. It was finished in the Spirit, ere it began in the flesh, finished in the hour when Christ exclaimed: ?not as I will, but as thou wilt? ( <402639>Matthew 26:39).?
Lang, Homer, 506 ? ?Apollo is the bringer of pestilence and the averter of pestilence, in accordance with the well known rule that the two opposite attributes should be combined in the same deity.? Lord Bacon, Confession
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