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THE BREAKING HEART.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."1 Of his readiness to show this measure of love for those who were as the sheep of his fold, he had declared: "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
I lay down my life for the sheep. doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself." And again: "I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea, and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world." 3 "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."4 Such a covenant as this, could be of force only through the death of him who pledges it.
The promise of the covenanting-cup, at the covenanting-feast, was made good on Calvary. The pierced hands and feet of the Divine Friend yielded their lifegiving streams. Then, with the final cry, “It is finished," the very heart of the self-surrendered sacrificial victim was broken, and the life of the Son of God and of the
1 John 15: 13.
John 10: 10, 18. John 6:51. John 6: 55. 33-54; Mark 15: 22–39; Luke 23: 33-47; John
6" He was ultimately slain,' not by the effects of the anguish of his corporeal frame, but by the effects of the mightier anguish of his mind;
Seed of Abraham, was poured out unto death,1 in order that all who would, might become sharers in its re-vivifying and saving power. He who was without sin, had received the wages of sin; because, that, only through dying was it possible for him to supply that life which would redeem from the penalty of sin those who had earned death, as sin's wages.? He who, in himself, had life, had laid down his life, so that those who were without life might become its partakers, through faith, in the bonds and blessings of an everlasting covenant. So, the long symbolized covenant of blood was made a reality. "And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life." "
IO. THE BLOOD COVENANT APPLIED.
Under the symbolic sacrifices of the Old Covenant, it was the blood which made atonement for the soul. It was not the death of the victim, nor yet its broken body, but it was the blood, the life, the soul, that was
the fleshy walls of his heart-like the veil, as it were, in the temple of his human body—becoming rent and riven, as, for us, 'he poured out his soul unto death.'" (Sir James Y. Simpson, cited in Appendix to Stroud's Physical Cause of Death of Christ.)
1Isa. 53: 12. Comp. Rom. 6: 23; 1 Pet. 3: 18; Isa. 53: 4-6.
31 John 5: 11, 12.
OLD LIFE purged OUT BY NEW.
made the means of a soul's ransom, of its rescue, of its redemption. "The life [the soul] of the flesh is in the blood," said the Lord: "and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement [to be a cover, to be a propitiation] for your souls [for your lives]: for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason [of its being] the life [the soul]." "For as to the life [the soul] of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life [the soul] thereof." And so, all through the record of the Old Covenant.
It is the same in the New Covenant, as it was in the
Old. Atonement, salvation, rescue, redemption, is by X
the blood, the life, of Christ; not by his death as such;
In order to supply that blood, its Giver must himself die, and so be a sharer of the punishment of sin, although he was himself without sin. Thus was the new life made a possibility to all, by faith.
So it is, that "we have redemption [rescue from death] through [by means of] his blood";1 and that "the blood of Jesus cleanseth us [by its purging inflow] from all sin."2 So it is, that he "loosed us [freed us] from our sins by his [cleansing, his re-vivifying] blood." So it is, that " if any man is in Christ [is one in nature with Christ, through sharing, by faith, the blood of Christ], he is a new creature [Of course he is]: the old things are passed away; behold they are become new." So it is, also, that it can be said of those whose old lives were purged away by the inflowing redeeming life of Christ: "Ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God." And "this is the true
God and eternal life."6
"These things have I written unto you," says the best loved of the disciples of Jesus, "that ye may know that ye have eternal life; even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God"; "that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye may have life in his name.' For "God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we
1 Eph. 1: 7. 5 Col. 3: 3.
21 John 1: 7. 61 John 5: 20.
3 Rev. 1: 5. 71 John 5: 13.
42 Cor. 5: 17. 8 John 20: 31.
ONENESS WITH CHRIST.
were yet sinners, Christ died for us [while we were separated from God by sin, God yielded his only Son, to give his blood, at the cost of his death, as a means of our inter-union with God]. Much more then, being now justified by [or, in] his blood [being brought into inter-union with God by that blood], shall we be saved from the wrath of God [against sin] through him [in whom we have life]. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God [restored to union with God] through the [blood-giving] death of his Son, much more, being [thus] reconciled, shall we be saved by [or, in] his life."1
All who will, may, now, "be partakers of the divine nature," through becoming one with Christ, by sharing his blood, and by being nourished with his body. Entering into the divine-human covenant of bloodfriendship, which Christ's death has made possible, the believer can be so incorporated with Christ, by faith, as to identify himself with the experience and the hopes of the world's Redeemer; and even to say, in all confidence: "I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me; and that life which I now live in the flesh, I live in faith, the faith which is in [which centres in] the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.' "For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave
1 Rom. 5: 8-12.
22 Pet. 1: 4.
3 Gal. 2: 20.