Thursday, 9 August 2012

Atonement & all it means (part eight)

Jesus offers full atonement, once for all.

If we had to pay the penalty for our own sins, we would have to suffer eternally in separation from God.  However, Jesus did not suffer eternally.  There are two reasons for this difference: (a) If we suffered for our own sins, we would never be able to make ourselves right with God again. There would be no hope because there would be no way to live again and earn perfect righteousness before God, and there would be no way to undo our sinful nature and make it right. Moreover, we would continue to exist as sinners who would not suffer with pure hearts of righteousness before God... (b) Jesus was able to bear all the wrath of God against our sin and to bear it to the end. No mere man could ever have done thing, but by the virtue of the union of divine and human natures in himself, Jesus was able to... If Christ had not paid the full penalty, there would still be condemnation left for us.  But since he has paid the full penalty that is due to us,"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1).
~Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology p 577-578

Jesus' resurrection is the sign that his atonement was complete, and fully received and counted worthy by God.  Because the righteous Son paid the price, and did so completely, God saw it fit to raise him to life, to give him glory by giving him all authority over heaven and earth.

Jesus is alive today - he lives seated at the right hand of the Father, and he has complete power to judge the nations.  He has this power because he shed his blood for them.  The atonement has an everlasting impact because he who made the sacrifice is now the one with whom the authority lies.  This is also why the resurrection is just as important a part of the atonement and salvation of humankind as Jesus' death is.

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