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Thus when we read that our Lord Jesus gave himself a ransom-price for all, the meaning is that his sacrifice, finished at Calvary, is a sufficient price to effect the ransoming of all mankind, if so applied or when so applied.
Our Lord laid down his life; he died on our behalf; he gave our ransom-price into the Father's hands when he offered himself without spot to God. But the putting of that meritorious sacrifice into God's hands and the application of that merit to mankind are two different matters.
The laying down of the ransom-price was finished at Calvary; but the application of it was not even begun for fifty days. Three days our Redeemer was deadarising on the third day. Then for forty days he was with the disciples, appearing occasionally for their instruction. Then he ascended up on high, there "to appear in the presence of God for us," and promptly on the fiftieth day, Pentecost, the outpouring of the holy Spirit upon God's believing and consecrated servants and handmaidens began.
Pentecost was the proof that our glorified Lord had applied the merit of his sacrifice, had applied his blood as our ransom-price. Pentecost was therefore a proof that the Church had been ransomedthat the antitypical sprinkling of his blood by our great High Priest on the Mercy-Seat, or Propitiatory, "for us" had been accomplished, and that it was satisfactory to Justice, and that our sins were cancelled. Thereupon the High Priest began at once his secondary offering of his "members""living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God." (Rom. 12:1.) This in the type was represented by the killing of "the Lord's goat""the goat of [R4519 : page 349] the sin-offering that is for the people."Lev. 16:15.
The ransom-price all went for the atonement of our sins when the great High Priest appeared "for us." That ransom-price bought us (I Cor. 6:20); but was applied for no others and blessings came upon no others. It is "for all" (I Tim. 2:6), but has not yet been so applied.
It took all of that merit or ransom-price to make atonement for our sinsbecause it was so applied. It would have required all of it for even one man's release. It is because the penalty or sentence of death passed "upon all men to condemnation," through one man's offense or sin, that the one man's death can be applied for more than one man's release from condemnation. But whatever the number it is applied for, it takes it all to effect the release from condemnation.
So, then, the High Priest, having applied the entire ransom-price "for us," "on our behalf" (Heb. 9:24), for the blemishes or condemnation of those now accepted as his members and his housethe household of faithit follows that he has no merit now remaining to apply for the world. The ransom-price which was sufficient for one man or for all men was applied only "for us," "for our sins."
Ah, it has not been forgotten in the Divine purpose, and in due time it will be ransomed"the precious blood," the ransom-price, will be applied on the Mercy-Seat for the sins of all the people! Then the holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh.
Not so! It is the Divine arrangement that in all things he [Jesus] should have the preeminence. Jesus' merit, as we have seen, is now fully in useaccredited to us who are of the household of faith, for our justification by faith. We are counted, or reckoned, as possessing the earthly rights and life forfeited by Adam and redeemed by Jesus. But this reckoning or justification is confirmed to us of God by the holy Spirit's begetting to a new nature only because of our consecration vow to the Lord that we would lay down our lives, sacrificing all those earthly interests and rights as he didwalking in his steps, being baptised into his death, drinking of his cup of ignominypartaking with our Head of "the blood of the New Covenant," by which as a legacy or Testament the ransom-price blessing shall in due time be bequeathed to natural Israelwith the proviso that all mankind may be blessed by becoming Israelites indeed on the human plane of restitutionAbraham's earthly seedas the sands of the sea for multitude.
Note, then, that the one ransom-price, laid down by our Lord at Calvary, was all paid over to Justice "on our behalf," "for us," as was acknowledged at Pentecost and since, by the holy Spirit upon the Lord's servants and handmaidens. Note also that the restitution rights which we are now using as sharers in our Lord's sacrifice must all be surrendered back to Justice before the Great High Priest can present that same ransom-price again on behalf of the world, under the New Covenant conditions.
"Ye shall all die like men," or as men, writes the Lord through the Prophet. (Psa. 82:7.) There are three classes developed under God's original Covenant with Abrahamthe Grace or Sarah Covenant. (I.) The "little flock" of under-priestsmembers of the Body of the High Priest. These suffer with him, sharing "his death," "his cup," "baptised into his death." (II.) The "great company," who consecrated unto death and were begotten of the Spirit, but who "through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." These must die, but not as parts of Christ's Body, not as parts of his sacrifice. They must suffer "the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit (new nature) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (III.) Those who wilfully turn from and repudiate their consecration to sacrifice must die the Second Death. These are described by St. Paul as treating despitefully the one who paid their ransom-price and accepted them as his members, sanctifying them apart as his joint-sacrificers and joint-sharers of his glory in connection with the great work of mediating the New Covenant, under which Israel and the world will be blest.Heb. 10:29.
All of these three classes, all whose justification and sacrifice of sanctification were accepted by the Lordas evidenced by their receiving the holy Spirit as his servants and handmaidensall these must die before the New Covenant with Israel and mankind will be sealed. They must lay down all earthly justification and earthly rights, forever, before the one ransom-price can be back into the hands of Justice to the credit of the High Priest, that he may therewith appear in the presence of God to make an atonement with his ransom-price for the sins of all the people. Then, at the close of this age and the opening of the Millennium, our Lord, who as the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom- price for all, will have presented that price "for all." Thus "he is the propitiation [expiatorStrong's Lexicon] for our sins [the Church's sins], and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (I John 2:2.) The expiations are separate and distinct, but the one sacrifice, finished at Calvary, is the ransom-price by which both expiations are to be effected.