OBLIGATION OF THE WORK OF ATONEMENT.
There is no fact in Gospel history more consoling or more conducive to the strengthening of the Christian's faith than that of the readiness and willingness of Jesus in carrying out God's plan of salvation. If the Redeemer had faltered at any time, if the weakness of His human nature had at any time caused an unwillingness to carry out the work of atonement, the Gospel history would be worthless, and the comfort of a Christian in relying upon the satisfaction of Christ's vicarious suffering would be vain.
had been prophesied concerning the Messiah: “Then said I, Lo, I come:
volume of the Book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My
Ps. 40, 7. 8. This delight in doing the will of God, in carrying out
and counsel of God for the salvation of man, is a prominent and
feature of Christ's Ministry. He had a clear and full conception of the
and of the obligation of the work which He had come to perform, Heb.
He knew exactly wherein the will of His heavenly Father consisted.
the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given
should lose nothing. ...And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that
which seeth the Son and believeth on Him may have everlasting life.”
In accordance with this situation and the full understanding of its nature and scope, Jesus at all times kept the work of redemption foremost in His mind, to seek and save that which was lost, Luke 19, 10. Even at the age of twelve years He was fully conscious of the obligation resting upon Him, when He told His mother: “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?” Luke 2, 49. To His disciples, who asked about the man that had been born blind, He briefly and succinctly stated His conception of His ministry: “I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work,” John 9, 4. To the eager Zacchaeus He calls out: “Today I must abide at thy house,” Luke 19, 5. That was apart of His work, of the ministry of saving souls, which He therefore could not neglect.
the time came that He should enter into the glory of His Father through
of suffering and death, He did not falter or waver, but set His face
to go to Jerusalem, Luke 9, 51; Mark 10, 32. 33. He told His disciples:
Son of Man must suffer many things,” Luke 9, 22; Matt. 16, 22. He was
perfectly aware of the fate that was awaiting Him at Jerusalem, and yet
announces: “I must walk today and tomorrow and the day following; for
cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.” Luke 13, 33.
being the case, namely, that the chief aim and purpose of Jesus in
the world was to work the redemption of mankind by the shedding of His
an atonement for the guilt of all, He emphasized this one point to the
of everything else. He tells His disciples on the evening before His
“This that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And he was
among the transgressors; for the things concerning Me have an end,”
37. And in the garden He rebukes the impulsive Peter: “How, then, shall
Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?” Matt. 26, 54. The same
emphasized so strongly in His discourses on the afternoon and evening
resurrection day, as well as by the angels in their first announcement
Easter miracle. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to
into His glory? ...All things must be fulfilled which were written in
the law of
Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me. ...Thus it
written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer,” Luke 24, 7. 26. 44.
these words were echoed by peter in the interval between Christ's
the Day of Pentecost: “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have
fulfilled,” Acts 1, 16.