He Made Purification for Sins
I said at the end of yesterday’s devotion that the Son’s work in the order of the Triune God is that of Mediator—he is that Person of the Godhead who is the one “between” us and the Father, the one “through” whom we go to the Father. These are the prepositions which best describe the Son’s work in the “economy” of the holy Trinity. (By “economy,” we mean the way God works in the world; specifically, that work which each Person of the Godhead does regarding creation and redemption.) Thus, the proper word to describe the relation between the Second Person of the Triune God to the First Person is “Son,” but the proper word to describe the work of the Second Person as he mends the relation between us and the Father is “Mediator.”
So while yesterday we read of the Son’s work as Mediator to perfectly reveal the Father to us, and of the Son’s power as the one through whom the Father made and sustains all creation, today we read of that most important and central work of the Son as the Mediator who reconciles sinful men to God in his office as High Priest: “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” The blood of bulls and goats could not cleanse the conscience of men (9:13-14), but the sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God who came down from heaven and lived our life without sin, and gave himself for the very purpose of cleansing us of sin’s defilement and dominion over us—this one can cleanse the conscience as we cling to him by faith. This is why we call him, “High Priest,” because he is the one who performs the sacrifice. But unlike earthly priests, he not only makes the sacrifice but is the sacrifice. As such, he atones for (makes satisfaction in order to remove) our sins and thereby purifies us that we may be reconciled (brought back into fellowship) with the Father. God can only be in relationship with that which is pure and undefiled, and this is what the Son in his work as Mediator does for us. Imagine—being made pure and holy! This is the Son’s work for us on the cross.
And because he has made purification by his self-sacrifice, he is now seated at the Right Hand—from humiliation to exaltation (NICNT, 96-97). This is the place of ultimate authority and power. The Son belongs there naturally as the Father’s Son. But what is even more amazing is that the Son has earned that place by his work as Mediator on the cross on our behalf. Theologians call the seating of the Son at the Right Hand his “session,” and it is the Son’s work for us in his session that Hebrews will flesh out. And now you have a more edifying understanding of the word, “economy.”