Tuesday in the Twenty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 1:3

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.”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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