The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 90 of 144
Index | Zoom
New Series.
A fresh enquiry into the meaning of redemption.
pp. 25 - 31
Whether we listen to the Evangelist, read the everyday Christian writer, or ponder the
deeper theological volumes, we shall find that redemption is used interchangeably with
atonement, salvation, reconciliation, or any and all of the blessings of life, peace and
forgiveness that flow from the sacrifice of Christ.
The one offering and the many.
The confusion (for such we believe it to be) is in measure due to the fact that one side
of truth has been apprehended at the expense of the other. In the O.T. we find a series of
offerings, including offerings that have as their primary feature acceptable and fragrant
surrender, as in the whole burnt offering, offerings that as a sacrifice for sin are burned to
ashes outside the camp, the annual offering of the day of atonement, the daily offerings of
the morning and evening sacrifice, the Passover lamb offered at Israel's deliverance.
These and the rest not mentioned are all included in the one great antitypical offering of
Christ "once for all".
By the same offering He offered Himself as a sweet smelling savour unto God, died
under the curse of the law, was made sin for us who knew no sin, made peace through the
blood of His cross, and became the great propitiation. It is fundamental to see that all
O.T. typical sacrifices are embraced in the offering of the cross. It is nevertheless the
starting point of much error to confuse these varied aspects of His one great work.
Redemption distinct from atonement.
For the time being we leave unquestioned the word atonement, using it to cover the
whole range of offerings instituted by Moses and offered "for sin", "for cleansing", and
"for acceptance". The point we wish to make clear at the moment is that redemption is to
be considered as belonging to a class by itself, and is not to be confounded with the
remaining offerings which for present convenience we classify under the heading
atonement. The distinction we seek to prove may be visualized if we briefly consider the
history of the offerings connected with Israel, proofs of a more definite character being
given later.
For our purpose, Israel's history commences in Egyptian bondage. One offering, and
one only, is connected with their redemption from the house of bondage; that is the
Passover lamb. No priest is connected with this offering; no altar is sprinkled with its
blood; no hands are placed upon its head; no atonement is made by it for sin; no
acceptance is said to follow. This one offering is the only sacrifice connected with Israel
offered in Egypt. Before another sacrifice is offered they must leave Egypt, and pass