Agonizomai: Heb 7:26-28 - Christ - The Fulfillment of God's Eternal Purpose

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heb 7:26-28 - Christ - The Fulfillment of God's Eternal Purpose

Heb 7:26-28 - Christ - The Fulfillment of God's Eternal Purpose

Heb 7:26-28 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

God could not have saved us apart from Christ. Some will say that we cannot know that. Maybe He had another way - or many other ways, but that He chose this way. But God is the author of all events and there are no probabilities to Him. All is certainty. Once the Divine Mind decides in infinite and unchangeable wisdom upon a course of action then no other course is even possible, much less desirable. God’s perfect thoughts lead to His perfect purposes and His perfect purposes lead to reality, of which there is only one, the philosophers notwithstanding.

It is better just to stick with the Bible and say that there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved. And from this to extrapolate the fact that the reason there is no other Name is because Jesus is Christ. Jesus the man is the Messiah and the Son of God. If Jesus had not been fully human then He could not represent men. If He had not been fully divine He could not have satisfied the demands of God’s holiness.

All this in order to make the point about the Son being "made perfect". He was never imperfect. But it was necessary, for the purposes of redemption, for Him to manifest all the characteristics of humanity, including maturing and growing and walking in the appointed task until the end. This is the sense of His being made perfect, and it refers to His full humanity being lived out in perfect obedience through faith. As a man, He walked in perfection, just as, as God, He was perfect in essence all the time. He had no taint of original sin, nor added any sin of His own.

The writer therefore rightly uses such words as "holy, innocent, unstained and separated from sinners" to describe our Great High Priest. Such language could not be used of any other member of the race since Adam and until the end of time. All have sinned. All but Christ.

Notice the phrase that described Christ as "separated from sinners." This doesn’t mean that He has no contact, no interaction, no relationship with sinners. Such are the ones He came to save. It means He is separated from the common fallen nature of men by which all but He are unholy, guilty and stained. He is the second Adam; He was like Adam before the fall, though I would argue that unlike Adam, He was immutable as to character and purpose. So it is fruitless to ask if Jesus could have failed. He could not, because He was God’s purpose from before creation of the world for the redemption of humanity - the nexus of that immutable, perfect and preordained reality from the counsels of eternity. As a human being, He walked in that reality through faith. But, unlike ours, His faith was perfect faith.

This is why we are not fatalists, despite the fact that all of history has been preordained. We are not fatalists because God in human flesh was not a fatalist. He drew a hand over His Own omniscience and lived by faith in the promises of God, just as we are to do. This is a part of what made Him fully human in every sense. He wasn’t just God in a human body, like a man in a machine. He was God as a human being - able to feel, suffer, be tempted, yet without sin. He is the pioneer of our faith, as well as its author; and He is the perfecter of our faith, also, having lived it perfectly as only he could do.

Note also that He offered Himself up as the infinite, eternal and perfect sacrifice. There was no hint of something happening that was ever outside the predetermined purposes of God. He came in order to die as the perfect sacrifice. It was not plan B. It was the only plan that ever existed and He came to fulfill it. And it wasn’t Jesus doing the compassionate thing to dissuade the Father from being angry at men. It was the Father sending the Son to accomplish His loving purpose of redemption - and the Son actually doing it.

So the contrast continues between the men who held the earthly office of high priest, sinful and in need of a Saviour as they were, and the perfect High Priest Who, both because of Who He was and what he did, was at one and the same time like them and utterly unlike them. He fills the office of true High Priest because He is different in very important and essential ways from the others; without sin, unstained, in a league apart, exalted above the heavens. No mere son of Levi or Adam could possibly be compared to this.

And His sacrifice was perfect and effectual because of Who He was and what he did. And His sacrifice was all these things because He came as the manifestation of the oath of God to appoint a Son to do what no fallen man could do. Then He did it as a man. So all who believe have a perfect High Priest who ever makes intercession for us, and on behalf of Whom, we are all made acceptable to the Father - just as He planned it from eternity.


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