Daily Plumer – Hebrews 1:1-7 – Proofs of the Divinity of Jesus Christ – No. 7 – He Has Purged our Sins

“His divinity is also taught, G. By his purging our sins. For who can forgive sins but God only? Or who can put away sin but God only? To make full satisfaction to divine justice as much required divine perfections as to apply the redemption thus purchased. Indeed, to redeem from sin was a much greater work than to create in innocence. The latter was effected by a word. He spoke and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast. But the former required the incarnation, the sufferings, and even the death of the Son of God. We needed a divine sufferer to take away sin. Such a sufferer was Jesus Christ.

Augustine: ‘If you regard the distinction of substances, the Son of God descended from heaven, and the Son of Man was crucified. But if you regard the unity of person, the Son of man descended from heaven, and the Son of God was crucified.’ The meaning is that the personal union of Christ’s natures is so perfect, that what is done or suffered in one nature is fitly spoken of as done or suffered in the person of Christ. It was Christ’s human nature that suffered, but his human nature was in indissoluble union with his divine nature, thus forming the person Christ Jesus. Now think how great was his work in purifying his people from the guilt of sin, which ‘makes the creature loathsome and odious in God’s sight. It makes it most wretched and cursed, for it putteth upon the sinner God’s wrath, which is an insupportable burden, and presseth the soul down to hell.’ He who was not divine could not have done so great a work.

Dickson: ‘The satisfactory cleansing of our sins is not a thing to be done by man’s meritorious doings or suffering; but already done and ended by Christ, before he ascended; and that by himself alone, all creatures being secluded.’ Patterson: ‘Did he make expiation for human sin? How meet to celebrate his condescending mercy, to fly for safety to his cross, and then to triumph in his divine efficiency to save!’”

(These hopefully daily remarks come from William Swan Plumer’s 1872 commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews.)



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