In my last post on the Atonement, we looked at John Murray’s four-fold summary: Sacrifice, Propitiation, Reconciliation, and Redemption. In this we look at the beginning of Chapter 2 of Murray’s Work, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, which covers what Murray calls the “inclusive rubric under which these more specific categories may be comprehended.” This unifying principle that summarizes Christ’s Atoning work is: O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E (I can hear that children’s song in my head as I type this).
In chapter 2, Murray talks about the one Scripture passage above all others that beautifully describes Christ’s work – Isaiah 53. And no wonder, can any one read that chapter and not see the form of a perfectly obedient servant?
Also, see, for example:
- For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
- For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Rom 5:19)
- But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:7-8)
- Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation… (Heb 5:8-9)
In His incarnation, Christ became “like us” (Rom 8:3) and lived a life of perfect obedience, for us, before the Father. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification to make us “like Him” so that more and more we can obediently say, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42).
I will have more on the ‘active’ and ‘passive’ elements of Christ’s atonement in the next post.