Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In Light of Easter...

“In a form of communion between the Father and the Son to which the best human analogy is a covenant, He has voluntarily become the surety of His people and been accepted as such.  He has undertaken to meet their debts, indeed, to meet the whole cost of their redemption.  He has become the Head of the church; He has become her bridegroom.  To go even further, He has become her substitute: not only will He act on her behalf, He will suffer in her place.   He offers to become that in the covenant.  He is accepted as that in the covenant.  And it is as the Surety, Head, Bridegroom, and Substitute of the church that He comes into the world and lives and obeys and dies.  The sufferings are there.  No theory of the atonement adds one degree to their intensity.  But they cry out for explanation.  Why did the Lord bruise Him?  The only answer to that is, Because He is in the place of His people.  But how does He come to be one with His people?  By the eternal covenant of redemption!  Only the arrangements of that covenant can explain or justify the imputation of sin to Jesus.  And only that imputation can explain or even redeem the darkness which filled Immanuel’s soul, as expressed in the cry of dereliction, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’  It was not the evangelical doctrine of atonement which evoked these words.  The truth is, that only that doctrine, with its covenant, its substitution, and its imputation can at all explain them and rescue Christian theism from their implications.” ~ Donald Mcleod

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