SEED OF THE WOMAN
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
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.
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.
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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,
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
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.
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.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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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.