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sense active beyond death'. Tradition tells us that
It will have appeared from what has been said that the complete type of the atoning work of Christ is to be found only in the ceremonial of the Day of Atonement which was regarded as completing the whole cycle of piacular sacrifices. In a sense it summed up and
1 Cp. Westcott, Epp. of S. John, p. 35 ; Ep. to the Hebrews, p. 293.
3 Heb. ix. 24.
Cp. Lev. xvi. 21. The Day of Atonement was held to cleanse the people from all their sins, i. e. 'according to the Mishnic interpretation, to purge away the guilt of all sins, committed during the year, that had not been already expiated' (Religion of the Semites, p. 388).
interpreted the whole conception of sacrifices' in so far as they were divinely intended 'to gain for man access to God'.' The great feature of the day was the entry of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies, a representative act in which the whole nation was year by year admitted to the presence of Jehovah, but which was only possible in virtue of blood, that is of life, shed, and solemnly offered 2. In this transaction the life of the people was first symbolically yielded up as a token of submission to the penalty of sin, and afterwards brought within the veil into the immediate presence of God. Israel was first ransomed, then dedicated; first pardoned, then consecrated 3. The covenant status of the people was renewed; Israel was restored, by the removal of sin, to the position of a community in which Jehovah could continue to dwell 4.
But the blood of the sin-offering sacrificed on the Day of Atonement was not only offered on behalf of the people; it was applied. By its presentation at the mercy-seat it was endued with cleansing and sanctifying efficacy. Sprinkled on the floor of the sanctuary, and on all the sacred furniture, it purged them from the defilement they had contracted from the handling of sinful men; it reconsecrated them to holy functions. And the blood of sprinkling may be regarded as a sample of all the Jewish rites of purification, which could purge at least outwardly those who had involved themselves in ceremonial uncleanness and needed restoration to covenant privileges. The writer to the Hebrews, however, draws attention to the contrast between these merely external ordinances and the inward effectual operation of Christ's blood.
1 Westcott, Ep. to the Hebrews, p. 279. Cp. Schultz, ii. 402 foll. 2 Heb. ix. 7; cp. Lev. xvi. 14, 15.
3 See Milligan, The Resurrection of our Lord, pp. 133 foll. Cp. Lev. xvi. 16.
5 Heb. xii. 24.
In Heb. ix. 13 the blood of Christ is placed in line with (i) the blood of bulls and goats, i.e. the rites of the Day of Atonement, (ii) the water of sprinkling mixed with ashes of the red heifer (Num. xix).
'The Mosaic rites availed to renew the covenant fellowship between God and His people, which might have been interrupted by sin; they removed the accumulated defilement arising from daily action and intercourse or from contact with death. But their effect was outward and transitory. They hallowed, but could not purge the worshipper. Their effect might be described in the word aylaouós, which implies. merely the reconsecration of what had been desecrated or profaned. But the effect of Christ's blood is a true and inward purgation of the character and conscience from moral and spiritual defilement; His blood is a real means of cleansing (kabapioμós), of actual deliverance from the stain of guilt and from the power of sin. . . . The communication of the blood of Christ, whether in the gift of absolution or in the grace of Holy Communion, is in fact the communication of a divine life, annihilating the stains and reinforcing the frailty of nature 1.'
3. This brings us to the third division of sacrifice and its fulfilment in Christ. He is the slain victim of the peace-offerings, His sacrifice being the groundwork of a communion feast 2. A meal is the ordinary symbol, according to oriental conceptions, of fellowship and peace. And the eucharistic feast of the Christian Church is the highest realization, under the conditions of our mortality, of the blessedness for which man was created. It typifies the peace which follows upon penitent self-surrender to the will of God. It is a means whereby he becomes a partaker of the divine nature, and a recipient of the divine life". In a real sense it anticipates the consummation towards which the kingdom of God ever tends, the perfect indwelling of the Creator in His creatures. On this point there is no need to dwell at length. It is enough to draw attention to the impressiveness of the circumstance that the earliest and rudest forms
The Doctrine of the Incarnation, vol. ii. pp. 325, 326. 2 Heb. xiii. 10.
8 2 Pet. i. 4; John vi. 53-57.
of sacrifice foreshadowed a religious idea than which none is more distinctive of Christianity. We are told on high authority that the ancient sacrificial meal had both a social and a religious significance. The primitive notion was that those who ate and drank together were by this very act tied to one another by a bond of friendship and mutual obligation'; such an act of worship cemented the bond between man and his god, and also the bond between him and his brethren in the common faith' Further, it was a widespread belief in Semitic antiquity that by eating the flesh or drinking the blood of another living being a man. absorbs its nature or life into his own 2.' How remarkable it is that the great Christian sacrament should embody and consecrate the element of truth which, often in the crudest and most fantastic forms, underlay these ancient ideas! It is true not only in the critical moments of religious history, but also in the development of religious ordinances, that there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last 3.
As we look back over the different ordinances of the levitical legislation in the light of their Messianic antitypes we shall recognize the truth of St. Paul's bold assertion that the law is spiritual. Under those carnal ordinances imposed as a burden until the time of reformation lay concealed a spiritual fact which was their basis and presupposition-the fact of Jehovah's electing love. It is true that, speaking generally, 'Israel did not rise to the level of its institutions, but rather brought them down to its ever-lowering standpoint'; we must judge, however, of the tendency of the Law, not by its acknowledged failures, but by its spiritual triumphs. And doubtless in those books of the Old Testament which represent the devotion and 1 Religion of the Semites, p. 247.
2 Ibid. p. 295.
Luke xiii. 30.
* Rom. vii. 14. Cp. Orig, de Princ. iv. 6 rò sveupation Toi Montes νόμου ἔλαμψεν ἐπιδημήσαντος Ἰησοῦ.
5 Heb. ix. 10.
Edersheim, Warburton Lectures, p. 245.
faith of the spiritual Israel, and the fruit of the discipline through which it had passed, we learn what was the divinely intended outcome of the Law and its appointed worship. Such books as Deuteronomy and the Psalter reflect the spirit which found satisfaction or edification in the services of the sanctuary; they illustrate the religious affections which the Law awakened in chosen souls; their thirst for righteousness, their holy fear, their longing for purity of heart, their passionate desire for union with God. It was this life of the affections which the sacrifices were peculiarly fitted to educate. The ethical foundations of covenant fellowship with God had been firmly laid by the teaching of Moses and of the prophets. The Decalogue and the early legislation, social and moral, were calculated to act as a restraint upon conduct and a discipline of character. But the ordinances of worship in their developed form were at once a school for the heart and a channel of spiritual instruction. In the intention of its priestly compilers no doubt the ceremonial Law was designed to emphasize and elaborate the external holiness of Israel. But the thoughts of God are not man's thoughts, neither are our ways His ways; and the actual effect of the cultus, at least in devout hearts, was to deepen the inwardness of their religious life, to stir emotions which only the divine heart could fathom, and to awaken unutterable yearnings which the love of God, manifested in His Son, alone could satisfy.
1 Isa. lv. 8.