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offering of Christ was without spot. He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.50 This was His character in all respects; from His conception, of which the angel said to His virgin mother, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called The Son of God.51 And in the whole course of His life, God gave not the Spirit by measure unto Him,52 but He was full of the Holy Ghost;51 so that He was a most holy Person. The apostle has elsewhere asserted that He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.53 His Divine nature imparted perfection to all that He did upon earth. He was consequently a most holy Priest, and a spotless Victim; so that every act which He performed was meritorious, and His sacrifice was a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. All therefore to whom the blessings of the gospel of Christ are made known, are invited to come and take the benefit of them; and none who humbly and earnestly seek them, shall find their application to be in vain. His sacrifice was "a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world." And the virtue of it was commanded to be preached to every
50 Heb. vii. 26. 51 Lukei.35; iv. 1. 52 John iii. 34. 53 Rom. i. 4.
creature under heaven,54 that all men every where might repent and believe the gospel,55 and partake of its blessings in time and in eternity. Let us place our confidence in the offering of our great High Priest, which was once offered to put away sin; that being reconciled to God by the death of His Son, we may enjoy pardon and peace in our consciences here on earth, and may rejoice in hope of the glory of God hereafter. We are to consider,
Thirdly, The blessings bestowed, in consequence of the offering of Christ, upon His church and people. On this subject it is said, that He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. On the great day of atonement, once a year, the Jewish high priest went into the most holy place, and sprinkled the blood of the goat, which had been sacrificed, within the veil, before the mercy-seat.56 So Christ our great High Priest is gone into heaven, into the most holy place, not made with hands, to present the memorial of His own blood-shedding and death in the presence of the Most Holy One on behalf of His believing people; for whom He has obtained eternal redemption; in consequence of which their sins and their iniquities shall be remembered no more, and they shall partake of His everlasting salvation; shall be delivered from
54 Col. i. 23.
55 Mark i. 15.
56 Levit. xvi. 15.
the wrath to come," and put in possession of the glory to be revealed in His eternal kingdom. Such will be the final consummation of their blessedness. This being the design of the offering of Christ, of the shedding of His precious blood, of His acting as the High Priest over the house of God; this blessedness shall most assuredly be bestowed upon all who put their trust in Him; they shall partake of that eternal redemption which He has obtained for them. In the prospect therefore of parting with all things here below, they may well look up with gratitude to their High Priest, and believe that in a little time they shall be admitted to see His face without a veil, and to praise Him for His redeeming grace and dying love throughout the countless ages of eternity. Let us look forward to this blessedness which our great High Priest has purchased for His church and people with His own blood; let us anticipate the period when all His exceeding great and precious promises shall be fulfilled, that we may glory in His holy name, and our hearts may rejoice in seeking the Lord; and that having the joy of the Lord for our strength,59 we may press forward in the narrow way to His heavenly kingdom.
But with regard to the benefits of which believers in Christ are partakers, through faith in His blood here upon earth, it is said, The blood
57 1 Thess. i. 10. 58 Heb. x. 21. 59 Neh. viii. 10.
of Christ shall purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. The apostle had before stated respecting the legal sacrifices, or those which were offered up under the law of Moses, that they could not make him that did the service perfect as pertaining to the conscience; and he afterwards gives his reason for this assertion, asking, For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.6° daily repetition of the same sacrifices showed that a merely temporary benefit was derived from them, and that they could not remove a sense of guilt from the conscience.
But in opposition to these sacrifices, the blood of Christ, when it is applied by faith, purges or cleanses the conscience from dead works, or the works of sin, so that the believer in Him becomes dead to sin, and lives no longer therein as formerly; as the apostle says to the Romans, Our old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.61 Pardoning mercy for sins past, being vouchsafed through the bloodshedding and death of the Lamb of God, is brought home to the conscience, so that the pardoned sinner becomes a servant of the living God, to worship Him in spirit and in truth.62 As
60 Heb. x. 1, 2.
61 Rom. vi. 6.
62 John iv. 24.
long as the conscience labours under a sense of guilt, there is no possibility of enjoying communion with God. But when this is removed, we look up to the God of heaven with gratitude and affection, as the Father of mercies and the God of all grace. Then the penitent sinner is enabled to draw near to Him as his reconciled Father in Christ Jesus, and finds rest to his soul in casting all his care and concerns upon the tender compassion and mercy of the Lord his God.
The apostle states, however, the nature of the blessings which are conferred through the blood of Christ more fully in the last verse of the Epistle for this day. And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. As the Mediator of the new testament or covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ intercedes in behalf of His church and people. He pleads His blood-shedding for their pardon. He pleads what He has done and suffered as the ground of their acceptance, that they may obtain every good and perfect gift stand in need at His hands.
of which they He pleads His
death for the redemption of the transgressions that
63 James i. 17.