Sermons on Atonement
In Hebrews 10:11-18 the author brings the longest theological section of the book to a close. Summing up his previous arguments he notes that the priests stand each day offering the same sacrifices that cannot take away sins, whereas Christ has once and for all been seated at the right hand of the Father, having definitively completed His work. All of this forms the basis for the exhortations to follow: Since we have a great high priest, let us hold…
In Hebrews 10:1-10 the author contrasts the efficacy of the blood of bulls and goats to that of Christ. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins, but Christ, as the Son of God who became man, is able to cleanse all those who come to Him from their sins. Pastor Grasso highlights in this way the significance of the incarnation for atonement.
In Hebrews 9:23-28 the author explains the cleansing power of Christ’s blood. Pastor Grasso explains the distinction between propitiation and expiation to understand these two elements of the atonement. Propitiation is the satisfaction of God’s wrath. Expiation is cleansing from sin. Christ’s blood, however, has a cosmic element to its cleansing. As Adam’s fall resulted in the world being subject to corruption, so too, in Christ’s death, the world is cleansed so as to bring forth a new creation.
In Hebrews 9:15-22 the author explains the significance of Christ being the mediator of the new covenant. As the mediator of the covenant He had to die to instituted the testamentary aspect of the covenant. Is the new covenant a testament? Yes, because it grants the right to an inheritance. The glory of the mediator is seen in that by His blood this inheritance is now in place for His people and by that same blood He has cleansed us…
In Hebrews 2:10-18, the author continues to discuss the incarnation. Why did Christ become man? Ultimately to die. Far from this proving that he is not a ruler, his death is actually his “crowning with glory and honor” because by his death he has defeated the devil and made atonement for sin. Christ, the Son of God, became man for this reason.
Christ’s two names in Matthew 1:18-25 tell us who he is and what he has come to do. As “Immanuel” he is God with us. As “Jesus” he comes to save his people from their sins. The only way to make sense of the incarnation is to seek to understand it in light of the mission of Christ. Anything less than the salvation of his people from sin makes the incarnation incomprehensible.
In Deuteronomy 27:1-10 Moses gives instructions concerning the covenant ceremony to take place after the people of God cross the Jordan. There are two things highlighted in this ceremony: the public inscription of the Word of God and the offering of sacrifice. These two, the Word of God and sacrifice, are highlighted by Moses to show the vital nature of each in order to have a covenant relationship with God.
Deuteronomy 23:1-18 shows that anyone who comes into the presence of God must be holy. These laws restricting access to God and regulating holiness and purity remained in place until the coming of Christ who has so thoroughly cleansed his people that they now have perfect access into his presence.
In Deuteronomy 15:19-23 Moses gives the law concerning offering the firstborn of an Israelite’s clean animals to God, emphasizing that the animals used in sacrifice must also be without blemish. This law builds on the theology of the Passover and Exodus where God redeemed His people so as to spare the firstborn of Israel through the blood of a lamb. This law was meant to be a reminder of what it takes to make an atonement whereby the people of…