Page images
PDF
EPUB

ed to him a very different theatre for the display of his obedience whilst on earth, a sphere which was apparently inconsistent with the dignity of so exalted a man, and assigned it to him under the condition that for this distinguished obedience he should also be rewarded in a distinguished manner. But, inasmuch as his dignity and happiness, being the result of his peculiar and perfect union with God, were incapable of augmentation ($ 82. Ill. 1); This dignity and happiness were at least bestowed on him in a manner which gave them the nature of a reward (5); bestowed on him with the acknowledgment of the merited honour, that he was peculiarly worthy (6) of this distinguished glory; and with the power to accomplish his most ardent wishes in bestowing salvation on his brethren (7), who in themselves were unworthy of such felicity. He was elevated to that dignity not only because it was suitable to his peculiar union with God, but he was raised as the Author of salvation to mankind, in remuneration of (8) his distinguished obedience. The obedience to God and the active reverence for him, which were evinced by the man Jesus on earth, together with the honourable declaration (Pixaloua Rom. 5: 18.) and reward which succeeded, are the cause of the salvation of man (9); just as the disobedience and punishment of our first parents (Rom. 5: 19, 16) were the cause of the misery of the human family (8 55, 57).

ILLUSTRATIONS.

1. Rom. 8: 29, That he (Jesus) might be the First-born among many brethren. Heb. 2: 11, he (Jesus) is not ashamed to call them brethren. II. John 17: 2, thou hast given him (Jesus) power over all

25

VOL. IV.

flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

III. John 17: 22, 24, the glory (said Jesus) which thou gavest me, I gave to them (Comp. 564). Heb. 9: 16,“ Jesus when dying bequeathed his salvation to believers; they are his heirs under the condition of his death."1

IV.

1 Cor. 15 : 28. John 20 : 17. Rev. 3 : 12. comp.

$ 84.

savour.

V. The exaltation of Jesus is the reward of his obedience. -Phil. 2: 8, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name—Heb. 2: 9, for [on account of] the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour 12: 2, who (Jesus), for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross.

VI. John 10: 17, therefore doth my Father love me, be-, cause I lay down my life. Eph. 5:2, (Jesus) hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling

Heb. 1: 9, therefore, O God! thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness. Rev. 5: 12. Just as the obedience of Jesus was rendered more splendid by the sufferings of his death, so also was the honour enhanced, which, on account of this obedience, he derived from the subsequent enjoyment of his glory. This he enjoys not only as the natural privilege resulting from his natural union with God, but also as the reward of his moral excellence.2

VII. John 17: 26, ίνα η αγαπη, ην ηγαπησας με, εν αυτοις (instead of Exns tnv ayannu ES avtovs) “ that thy love to me may be extended to them.”3 Ephes. 1: 6, he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Gal. 2:20, Sn Ev &quoi ó XQLOTOS"my

1 Comment. ip loc. note. p. 2 On the Design of the death of Jesus, p. 663 &c. 3 Ibid. p. 592.

life and salvation are properly speaking, his life, or participation in his salvation."

VIII. Acts 5: 31. (comp. $ 65). Heb. 5: 9," having received the promised reward, he has become the Author of an eternal salvation to all them that obey him."

IX. Rom. 5: 19, so also by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. “Inasmuch as Christ could, on account of his resurrection and glory, be declared obedient or just (v. 18), therefore justification unto life has been extended to all men.” For it was a principal part of the solemn declaration of his righteousnesss, or of the reward of his obedience,? that he could now treat all men as just and obedient, and bestow salvation on them.3

§ 88.

Jesus displayed his obedience throughout his whole life, but par

ticularly at his death. Through the whole course of his (1) earthly pilgrimage, even from his childhood (2), did Jesus display this obedience. But it shone with additional lustre during his public ministry (3), and was seen in its greatest glory (4) amid the sufferings of that ignominious deaths to which he submit

ted (5).

ILLUSTRATIONS.

I. Christ's obedience extended throughout his whole life. John 8: 29, 1 do always the things that please him (my Father). Matth. 3: 15, “ thus it becometh us to fulfil all the divine commands.” Compare James 1: 20, dixaloovun Jeov. Phil. 2: 6, 7. 2 Cor. 8: 9. Comp. 581.

1 Ibid.

p.
455.

2 Isaiah 53: 10-12. 3 On the design of the death of 14,

II. In his childhood.-Luke 2: 49, 51, 52.

III. In his public office.—John 4: 34, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me. John 6: 38. 5: 30, I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me. 7: 18. 8:49, I honour my Father. v. 55, I keep his saying. 26, 28, as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 17: 6, I have glorified thee on earth. v. 12, I have kept them in thy name.

v. 4. 12: 49. IV. But most clearly in his death, and the sufferings connected with it.-Phil. 2: 8. Heb. 5: 8. Hence our salvation, which is the fruit of the obedience of Jesus ($ 87), is specifically described as the effect of his greatest obedience; is

represented as the effect of his sufferings and death. Ernesti has objected to the division of Christ's obedience into active and passive,2 on the ground that all obedience is active. Yet this division (says Reinhard) may still be retained to designate that the obedience of Christ amid his sufferings, was the highest degree of his obedience. John 6: 51, and the bread (said Jesus) which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 12: 24, but if it (the grain of wheat) die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 3: 14–16. 1 John 4: 9, 10, God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him-he sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 Thess. 5: 9, 10 (Christ) died for us, that we should live. Heb. 10: 19, having therefore boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Moreover, forgiveness of sins, which was the particular design of the death of Christ, is the foundation of our salvation. 989 &c. Heb. 9: 15, and for this purpose he is Mediator of the New Covenant, that by means of (his) death for redemption from the transgressions under the first covenant, they who were called to the eternal inheritance, might receive the promise.

1 Dissert. de sensu vocis dexaLOS, IX. 2 Theol. Bibl. vol. 9, p. 925.

3 Dogmatik. S. 406.

V. Jesus submitted to death voluntarily.John 10: 17, no man taketh it (my life) from me, but I lay it down myself. v. 18, this commandment have I received of my Father. 14: 31, as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. This Jesus says whilst going forward to his death. 18: 11, the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? See also Matth. 26:52—54, 39, 42. Heb. 10: 7,9. The work on the design of the death of Jesus; Hess' Bibliotheca of sacred history,2 in the article “ Pragmatic narrative of Christ's sufferings;" where it is proved that every way to escape death was left open to Jesus by the providence of God, and that therefore according to every historical evidence, it is an incontrovertible fact, that his submission to death was perfectly voluntary.

§ 89.

The remission of our sins is the grand design of Christ's vol

untary sacrifice of himself. The meritorious and exemplary obedience of Jesus was certainly placed in a clearer and more splendid point of view, by his submitting to so excruciating a death ($ 88. Ill. 4). This submission to death, also, made him experimentally acquainted with the misery incident to the lot of man, in its highest degree. But even in his previous life, he

I p. 595.

2 Pt. II. p. 354.

« PreviousContinue »