||2014-02-19 13:00:17, 조회 : 1,943, 추천 : 338
| Hello to another wonderful day to study more about God. Last chapter we have finished part two and so this chapter is the beginning of part three, titled Within His Embrace. Chapter seven’s title, which we will be analyzing today, is "The Chastisement that Brought Us Peace." |
As usual, the author starts off this chapter with verses coming from Isaiah 53:5.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
As we can see from the verses the author has presented to us, this presentation’s topic will be surrounded around Jesus Christ. And as we see from the Bible, it consistently portrays Christ’s life as the basis for our righteousness and His death on the cross as a sacrificial offering to free us from guilt and wrath. Jesus paid the price we should have paid; He died the death we should have died; and He suffered the punishment we fully deserved. This is not only presented in the New Testament, but also said in the Old Testament.
From the Old Testament, we can see from the Levitical sacrifices, the Passover, the Day of Atonement, the redemption of God’s people from slavery and a lot of other things. In the New Testament, it shows Jesus Christ fulfilling all such things. And throughout these teachings, there are many key concepts such as, that Jesus is our substitute, that His death was a punishment for sins, that the Cross expiates our guilt and propitiates God’s wrath against us.
However, not being able to see such things will be a detriment to our theology as well as our faith. Most evidently it will distort the proper view on Christ’s death. There a some who view Christ’s death on the cross as showing us the love of God and therefore persuading us to repent. But we know that it is impossible for us to come towards Christ without divine intervention.
The big problem is that the core idea of modern liberal theology is that the Bible may no longer serve as an authoritative source of knowledge about God. People say that the Bible is “old fashion” and not with the new generation. Instead the theologians must work creativity with the biblical materials and with their own experiences of life to develop a portrait of God and of the world. But what we need to really do to come towards God is let God teach us the meaning of Jesus’ work on our behalf. So we need to focus on Christ through biblical texts and not just some creativity.
We will begin by looking at the objectivity of the Atonement. It is quite true that receiving Christ brings about a tremendous amount of change within the heart of a believer. The reason for that is that Christ, through his death, changed our relationship with God. Atonement removed the barriers for us accepting being accepted by God and experiencing peace with Him.
One of those barriers is our guilt. As shown in Nahum 1:3, All human beings are guilty of sin; our sin cries out for punishment, and God had stated clearly that He will punish all who are guilty. However, Jesus is the Lamb of God, and took away the sin of the world. He has taken away sins by His self-sacrifice and freed us from our sins. He has removed our guilt; those who trust in Him are now treated as if they had never committed sin. We are then declared righteous. The problems that have been created due to our sin have now been solved through the death of Jesus on the cross.
Another barrier is His holy revulsion against our sin. Our transgressions arouse Him an intense anger. This anger is described in the Scripture as indignation, wrath, and fury. And because it is OUR sins that evoke God’s wrath, there is nothing we can do to appease or win the favor of God and so we are left as children of wrath. However, through Jesus, we are able to find favor with God once more. By His death, he has satisfied the wrath of God. In Romans 3:25-26, apostle Paul tells us that God put Jesus forward as “a propitiation by his blood” in order that God might maintain His justice while simultaneously justifying those with faith in Christ.
It is key to mention at this point that the sacrifice of Jesus was not something forced upon Him. Bible everywhere makes it clear that it was by agreement of the Father and the Son that the Son laid down His life. It is God the Father who set Jesus forth as a way back to Him. It was Jesus who, as our merciful and faithful Lord, voluntarily made himself to be our bridge to return to God.
And so now we will be looking at the reconciliation between God and us. Because we are no longer regarded as guilty and are no longer objects of wrath, there is now no barrier to hinder us from coming to God and experiencing peace with Him. We are also able to see reconciliation as both an objective and subjective matter.
Our subjective reconciliation is that our enmity toward God is ended; and we find that we are, in our own hearts and minds, at peace with God. But what the Bible puts its emphasis on, is not the reconciliation towards God, rather the Bible stresses on the truth that God is now reconciled towards us. The death of Jesus had opened the way for God to embrace those from whom He was previously not able to approach due to sin. God’s act of reconciliation was when He acted in Christ to remove the guilt of our transgressions. God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. God has taken the initiative to reconcile Himself to us.
Another indication that we must view the Atonement is the fact that Atonement is a necessary for our salvation. I don’t mean that it was necessary for God to save us, for He is not required to provide a solution to our guilt. But the fact is that God loves us and desires our salvation. Many passages within the Scripture strongly imply that to forgive us on any lower grounds than the death of His Son would be a contradiction of God’s own nature and character. As Jesus says in Luke 24:26, it is a necessary that He should suffer the things foretold by the prophets and then enter into His glory. Only the offering of Christ as a bridge to God permits God to affirm His justice and justify the one who had faith in Jesus without contradicting his own nature.
Another thing we must state is that the Atonement is substitutionary. Jesus died as our substitute. He put Himself in our place and He not only died for us but He also died instead of us. When we look at the Old Testament sacrificial system, we can see a relationship to the death of Christ. When a person was doing a sacrifice, first, he would lay his hand on the head of the animal before slaughtering it. This was symbolic of the transfer of the worshiper’s sins to the animal that was being sacrificed. Next, the worshiper would kill the animal as a way of expressing his recognition that his sins were deserving of death.
Jesus, was doing the same thing. He was symbolically putting those sins and transgressions unto himself and He knew that he was to die. And also we see the principle of substitution in the transfer of Jesus’ perfect righteousness to those who believe in Him. Jesus’ perfect righteousness was imputed to those who trust in Him as the basis on which God views us as deserving of eternal life. In Philippians 3:9-11, Paul states that he wants to be found in Christ, not having a righteousness of his own according to the Law, but that which comes through the faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. Paul knew that such positive moral righteousness was not able to come from us, but only through faith in Christ. And so Jesus has stepped in to take our place, dying the death we should have died and also living the life we should have lived.
And this, as a whole, is the very heart of the Christian faith, we begin to gaze directly at the love of God. This love which had led to God sending his only begotten Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And this is something that we should cling to with all our hearts and proclaim it with all our strength. To attempt to define the love of God without the Cross is foolishness, and to build a theology on any other foundation than Christ and Him crucified is idolatry. Only when we cling on to this and build true faith in Christ are we able to see God as He truly is.
And so I will be concluding this by saying that I hope that you were able to grasp the key concepts of Atonement and to be able to use these concepts to move forward with your Christian life. Thank you!!
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