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Abstract

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Appendixes


     

SEED OF THE WOMAN

PART  IV

 

TRIUMPH  

OVER  DEATH

 

 

The Lord Jesus Christ did not merely choose the time of his dying:
He was in a position to choose whether to die AT ALL.

Then He died on the cross but not because of it;
and He died purely by an act of will.

Having disengaged spirit and body in death,
three days later He personally re-engaged them in a bodily resurrection.

 

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SUMMARY INTRODUCTION

     So we come to the final act in the drama of the seed of the woman. We have seen the provision of a perfect body, and we now observe how the Lord Jesus Christ gave expression to his Person as Man, through that body. We shall explore a few examples of how the perfection of his character was displayed under conditions of appalling difficulty which increased until the moment of his death: and we examine not merely the WHY of his dying but also the HOW of it in the light of what has been learned thus far from this study. And from it we are able to see how wonderfully the eternal sacrifice which was made by the Last Adam proved to be a full, perfect, and sufficient satisfaction to redeem those who were lost through the disobedience of the First.
     Adam's sin had introduced, for man, two kinds of death: spiritual death and physical death. These two kinds of death occur for us in this order. Spiritual death occurs when the spirit is separated from God by disobedience: physical death occurs when the spirit is separated from the body. We suffer the first death actively and by conscious choice: the second we suffer passively it happens to us. Thus we die spiritually by an act of will: whereas we die physically by a form of execution willy-nilly. It appears that the first death is probably an event whereas the second seems to be a process.
     Jesus Christ suffered these two kinds of death on our behalf in order to make our redemption complete. As with us, his spiritual death took the form of separation from the Father: his physical death resulted by the departure of his spirit from his body. Unlike us, his spiritual death was passive, imposed upon Him for our sakes,

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and contrary to his will but not to his resignation. His physical death was active: He was entirely responsible for it.
     Both deaths occurred on the cross the spiritual death preceding the physical death. The first was necessary in order that our SINS might be forgiven, the second that our SIN might be taken away (or put away). In Him our salvation is therefore complete, for both spirit and body are to be redeemed.
     On the Day of Atonement, two goats not one were sacrificed. One was "sent away" into the wilderness, there to perish in isolation, the sins of God's people having been laid upon its head. This goat represented the break in fellowship between the Son and the Father during the three hours of darkness. The other goat was slain and its blood sprinkled on the altar in the Holy of Holies. The first sacrifice was an offering for SINS; the second was a SIN-offering.
     These two requirements, an offering for SINS and an offering for SIN,*  were both fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ on the day He made an atonement. Since these sacrificial animals which prefigured Him as Saviour and Redeemer had to be perfect, so He also had to be perfect both in spirit and in body.

     In the Old Testament ritual on the Day of Atonement, the two goats were brought before the judges in the Temple. They were, first of all, declared satisfactory and then both were "slain," one by banishment, the other by being slaughtered. Two goats were required because a single animal could not physically be both ritually slain and banished.
    But the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled both roles. His innocence having been established, He was then in a position to be appointed to both kinds of dying under circumstances which were altogether exceptional. Moreover, the manner of his dying (by crucifixion) was not at all customary in Jewish law. Yet the mode of his execution was necessary in order to provide a stage which would allow both kinds of dying to be fulfilled.
     But this is not the final act. The Lamb of God has been sacrificed. In this sacrifice He was both victim and High Priest. He offered Himself.  It was then necessary that He, as High Priest, present the blood

* There is a vital distinction in the New Testament between the word SINS and the word SIN (when used generically). SINS are to be distinguished from SIN as the fruits of an evil are to be distinguished from their root, and as symptoms are to be distinguished from the disease. SINS are committed offenses: SIN is the defect which we inherit from Adam by natural generation, SINS must be forgiven for we are morally accountable for them. SIN, the disease, is not forgiven but covered (in the Old Testament), and cleansed, or taken away, or put away (in the New Testament). SINS are the cause of our spiritual death: SIN is the cause of our physical death.

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of his own sacrifice before the very presence of God in the Holy of Holies which is in heaven. For this, his bodily resurrection was essential.
     He then returned in Person, bodily, to present Himself before his people, as the High Priest under the old Covenant presented himself again before his people the signal that his atoning sacrifice had been accepted before God. Any other form of resurrection than a bodily one would have placed in doubt the efficacy of his role as our sacrificial victim and his role as our great High Priest.
     We may think of the Lord's work in salvation as a purely spiritual exercise. Yet so much that He accomplished depended upon the possession of a body. It was through his body that He lived out a perfect human life and thus qualified as our sacrificial victim. It was through his body that He was able to die. And it was in his resurrection body, a body which was not allowed to see corruption, that He returned to proclaim God's acceptance of the sacrifice He had made.
     Man is neither a spirit who happens to have a body, nor a body that happens to be endowed with a spirit. Man is a body/spirit entity. The application of the redemptive process hinges not only upon his spiritual nature but also upon his physiology: indeed upon His and upon ours equally. Unless these conditions of his life were fulfilled He could not die as a sacrificial victim, nor would his sacrifice have applied for us.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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