« הקודםהמשך »
is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives," . &c. &c.
The consecration by blood yet remained. This was the most awful and solemn, as it was to be by his own blood. In the legal consecration, it was not the shedding but sprinkling of the blood which consecrated, and was an effect of the other, so it was not simply Christ's suffering that consecrated him but the value of his blood, the immediate effect of its being shed.
His blood was not properly an initiatory consecration to all his offices, as he had already entered on the exercise of at least some of them. But what is principally intended is his consecration, not to the work of redemption, but of salvation, or, as the Apostle expresses it, “ bringing many sons unto glory," which he could not do without such a consecration. It will then be a consecration to all his offices, as far as these relate to the application of redemption : of which after. To this Jesus certainly refers in his intercessory prayer, John xyi. 19. “ And for their sakes I sanctify myself.” This was something that he was just then doing or im. mediately to do: He needed no internal sanctification. That of which he speaks was such as should accomplish the sanctification of his disciples. It cannot therefore intend any thing else than consecration, to be effected by his death. The Apostle, Heb. ix 10. calls the legal consecrations or sprinklings “ washings,” or baptisms," as the word imports. In allusion to these, and in the same sense, Christ said concerning his sufferings “ I have a baptison to be baptized with.” Luke xii. 50. He cannot inean by these words to express his sufferings, for there is nothing in any baptismal rite that expresses suffering; but he must mean the consecrating effect which these sufferings were to have upon him, as initiating him fully into the great work of “ bringing many sons to glory.” As some external means was necessary in all consecrations, so was it in the case of Christ; but such was his dignity and the importance of his work, that no blood but his own was adequate to his consecration. This consecration is ascribed both to the Father and Christ. God appointed, as in the legal consecrations, that in no other way, than by the shedding of his own blood, should Jesus enter upon the arduous work of saving sinners. And as Moses consecrated Aaron by executing the command of God, so did Christ sanctify himself by shedding his blood in obedience to his Father's commandment. All these consecrations of the Mediator implied his perfect fitness for managing the work of salvation, and also the authority which he had from the Father for that
purpose. These consecrations were visible tokens or symbols of both
3. His consecration by blood fitted Jesus for bringing many sons to glory, because by it he finished that righte. ousness by which sinners should obtain pardon and become the heirs of eternal life. There are no terms by which it is possible for a sinner to be sustained as righteous by God, bụt the terms of that law by which he is cbligated. This is the moral law, the unalterable rule of righteousness. Every sinner is under this law as a bro. ken covenant, obliged to perfect obedience, and liable to the execution of the curse. Gal. iii. 10. Rom. iii. 19. This two-fold demand of the law must be fulfil. led in its utmost extent, otherwise no sinner can ever become a son of God, and an heir of glory. The Mediator engaged to answer both these demands for
the sinner, and assumed human nature for that end. “ He was made of a woman, made under the law.” Gal. iv. 4. The reason of this was, that the law de. manded perfect obedience of us, in order to our justification: this we could not give. As one jot or tittle of this law could not pass, the whole of the life of Christ was one uniform course of holy obedience to it. It is on the footing of this perfect obedience of Christ that
any sinner becomes righteous, aš an heir of eternal life. By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
But had the surety done no more than obeyed the law, the sinner must still have been left under the curse; and while the law bound him over to punishment he could not become entitled to the reward. There was, therefore, the same reason for Christ's suffering the penalty, and dying in order to procure the pardon of sin. The unpardoned sinner is an heir of hell, because the sentence of condemnation remains in full force against him; nor can it be reversed but on the footing of an atonement. “ Without shedding of blood is no remission." Heb. ix. 22.
Had Jesus only atoned for our sin, and not also fulfilled the law, he would have put us only in the same state with Adam in the first moment of his creation ; but as he was not in that state entitled to the reward of confirmed happiness; so, neither would our being put into such a state entitle us to eternal life. On the othet hand, had he only obeyed che law, and left our sin unexpiated we must have for ever remained under the curse; and his obedi nce could have availed us nothing Jesus, by his perfect obedience, secured our right to eternal life, and by his blood, our deliverance frożn the curse. His dying was the last part of his work, and com
pleted that righteousness which he had been working out during the whole course of his life. “ When he finished transgression and made an end of sin, he brought in an everlasting righteousness.” Dan. ix. 24. This is the true import of these words which he uttered on the cross, “ It is finished,” i. c. “ the righteousness of the law is completed;" for it was only on this supposition that he could immediately add, “ Father, un. to thy hands I commend my Spirit.” John xix. 30. Luke xxiii. 46. Thus Jesus became “ the Lord our righteousness," and we by being clothed with it are constituted joint-heirs with him, and receive the “
promise of eternal inheritance."
4. Christ's sufferings perfected and fitted him for bringing many sons to glory, because they secured all that fulness of the Spirit which was requisite to carry on that work. Prior to his death he was full of the Holy Ghost. When, in his conception, the Spirit formed his holy soul, he also took possession of it, dwelt in it, and endowed it with all grace, strengthening, enlarging and improving it for the work it had to perform. In consequence of this “ he grew, waxed strong in the Spirit, and increased in wisdom."
He was in him, “ The Spirit of wisdom and understanding; of counsel and might; of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord; and made him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord." Isaiah xi. 2, 3. Also at his baptism, as was already observed, the same Spirit en. dowed him with all those graces and gifts necessary to the discharge of his public ministry. None of these influences, though very extensive, were the effect of his blood; but conferred by his Father, according to the tenor of the eternal covenant, to fit his human na
ture for all that work in which it was to be employed, and to carry it faithfully through it.
These communications of the Spirit, or rather that power to send the Spirit, which followed his sufferings, did not relate so much to himself as to his people. He already had enjoyed as much of the Spirit's influences as were necessary to himself in executing the work of redemption ; but that work must be applied to sinners, and it is necessary that he should have power to send the Spirit for that end. To apply redemption is to bestow salvation on sinners. This is the work of the Spirit. But this work necessarily presupposes that the purchase is made; for if it is not, he cannot confer it. The death of Jesus completed the purchase; in consequence of which he received the most extensive communications of the Spirit for carrying on the work of bringing many sons unto glory. These he received on his ascension to heaven, because when he appeared there, with his blood, he gave evi. dence that he had finished the work assigned him by his Father. At his ascension he charged the disciples to remain at Jerusalem, until they were endued with power; and told them he would send upon them the promise of his Father. This he did Acts ii. 33. “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." On this account it is that the Apostle adds ver. 36.
“ God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.” He is called Christ on account of his anointing with the Holy Ghost; and when in his exaltation, he is “made Christ," it implies his most solemn and extensive inauguration into his kingdom, especially that power