Friday, December 13, 2013

Christ Is the One True Atoning Sacrifice

But in fact there has been only one propitiatory sacrifice in the world, namely, the death of Christ, as the epistle to the Hebrews 10:4 teaches: It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.  And a little after, of the will of Christ, Heb. 10:10: By the which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  And Isaiah interprets the Law, in order that we may know that the death of Christ is truly a satisfaction for our sins, or expiation, and that the ceremonies of the Law are not; wherefore he says, Isa. 53:10: When you shall make His soul an offering for sin, He will see His seed, etc.  For the word employed here, asham, signifies a victim for transgression; which signified in the Law that a certain Victim was to come to make satisfaction for our sins and reconcile God, in order that men might know that God wishes to be reconciled to us, not on account of our own righteousnesses, but on account of the merits of another, namely, of Christ.  Paul interprets the same word asham as sin, Rom. 8:3: For sin, he condemned sin, i.e., He punished sin for sin, i.e., by a Victim for sin.… Isaiah and Paul, therefore, mean that Christ became a victim, i.e., an expiation, that by His merits, and not by our own, God might be reconciled.  Therefore let this remain established in the case, namely, that the death of Christ alone is truly a propitiatory sacrifice.  For the Levitical propitiatory sacrifices were so called only to signify a future expiation.  On account of a certain resemblance, therefore, they were satisfactions redeeming the righteousness of the Law, lest those persons who sinned should be excluded from the commonwealth.  But after the revelation of the Gospel they had to cease.  And because they had to cease in the revelation of the Gospel, they were not truly propitiatory, since the Gospel was promised for this very reason, namely, to set forth a propitiation.

Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXIV.22-24

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