Agonizomai: Heb 10: 10-13 - Christ - The Consummation of ALL Things

Monday, March 01, 2010

Heb 10: 10-13 - Christ - The Consummation of ALL Things

Heb 10 - 10-13 - Christ - The Consummation of ALL Things

Heb 10:10-13 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ (Greek this one) had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.

By what "will" is that? By the will of God. By the will of God we have been sanctified (note the tense) - meaning not that we have been experientially rendered righteous, but that we have been set apart unto holiness. In the same way that the instruments of worship were sanctified (set apart) by the sprinkling of blood, so we (the instruments of worship of the Living God) have been set apart for holiness in Him by sprinkling with His blood.

Yes, Christ truly died a real death on the cross. It was brutal, bloody, barbaric, and agonizing. Yet there is also a sense in which this worldly reality opened up and represented at the same time the unseen realities of the glorious kingdom of God. The cross, the Life, the blood, the body - all are real and historical and absolutely necessary in God’s purposes. But beyond the outward manifestation of these things lies the spiritual reality to which they attest, and which they render open to us. The immanent reality of the incarnation was the bringing of heaven to men. It was eternal life and holiness walking amidst putrid decay and corruption as light shining in the darkness, absolutely unable to be extinguished despite the very worst that could be perpetrated upon it. He descended into the abyss and rose again carrying men not to a better life in the world (though that is, in a sense, true), but to a whole new order of life - life in Him - spiritual, heavenly, eternal life in the blinding presence of the glories of God the Almighty. This is a life that begins at regeneration and grows from there, continuing on into eternity.

And though the work of Christ is the present finished reality in which we believe, and to which we can add nothing - yet there is an aspect of unfinishedness that is also present. Believers live in the “now, but not yet” of the kingdom. What Christ did was finished, but what Christ did must now be applied. The enemies of Christ were defeated upon the cross, and at the resurrection victory was proclaimed - yet the enemies still wage war against the Lord and His people. These enemies will be made His footstool because He has done all things well and has sealed, guaranteed, ensured and embodied the eternal will of God, the inevitable fruits of which will blossom under the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

All of this was eternally brought into created existence through the one act of Christ. His sacrifice was the one-time means by which the world was reconciled to God and the wicked principalities and powers were shamed before all creation. In this one act a people was redeemed for eternity, a heavenly marriage between Christ and His church was settled and the eternal doom of millions was sealed. For all things are from Him and through Him and to Him and for Him. Creation, history, life, death, bliss, torment, glory, shame - all things are in some way connected from eternity with the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the bright and Morning Star, the firstborn of all creation, the Alpha and Omega, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

For the Hebrew readers of this sermon, the concept of this "waiting" was important. Some were growing weary and losing their sense of anticipation. The excitement of conversion had gradually given ground under the daily battle of faith - of believing and trusting in the unseen evidences of the heavenly realities that Christ had brought. Many had neglected to grow by staying in their initial state of learning about Christ and not going on to the deeper things that would solidify their faith in the face of worldly tribulations and temptations. They needed to understand that the perfections of Christ’s sacrifice guaranteed their own victory by association with Him through faith. And they needed to see that the old system was gone forever, never having been anything more than a signpost, and always lacking in the ability to effectually reconcile to God.

So the present hiatus, the waiting on their part, the apparent lack of fireworks, the gradual loss of the Apostles and the eyewitnesses to both natural and unnatural death - the continuation of the world as it had from the beginning, the ongoing Roman domination, the illness, the suffering, the poverty the injustice - all seemed to still be present because all were present. The Jews still had this traditional residual thought that when Messiah came He would bring an earthly kingdom and instantly crush the political oppressors, bringing an administration of geo-political justice and military power to bear in subduing the world.

But the Christ had come and this had not happened. In the first flush of excitement it didn’t matter because the Spirit touched their hearts and they glimpsed the beauty of Christ and the pleasures forevermore at His hand. But many had simply stopped at that and were unequipped for the long haul. Now it did matter that the kingdom had come, but was also "not yet". They were spiritually weak and ignorant and, as a consequence, carnally vulnerable. So they were being taught the "not yet" of the kingdom even as they were to live in the kingdom in their present age. Christ was in heaven waiting and they were to learn patience, faith and hope. They were not better than their Master. They must wait, too.


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