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The Death of the Saviour the End of All Sacrifice

The Death of the Saviour the End of All Sacrifice

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Friedrich, Schleiermacher 1768-1834.

{Good Fi'iday.)
Text : Hei!. x. 8-12.

Friedrich, Schleiermacher 1768-1834.

{Good Fi'iday.)
Text : Hei!. x. 8-12.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE DEATH OF THE SAVIOUR THE EDOF ALL SACEIFICES.Friedrich, Schleiermacher 1768-1834.{Good Fi'iday.)Text : Hei!. x. 8-12.DEEPLY as our feelings may be moved on a day suchas this, deeply as our hearts may be affected with asense of sin, and at the same time filled with thankfulnessfor the mercy from on high, that planned to save us by Godnot sparing His own Son, we can only be sure of havingfound the right and true use of the da}^, when we bring ourthoughts and feelings to the test of Scripture.We find there a twofold treatment of the supremely im-portant event which we commemorate to-day. The gospelnarratives unfold to us the facts of Christ's life and death,setting them before us, each with its own accompanyingcircumstances ; and in every line of their history we see,closely side by side, the clearest light of heavenly love andpurity, and the darkest shadow of sin and perversity.Which of us would not gladly linger over this historyduring this time set apart specially for meditation on tliosufferings of Christ ? Who would not expect once moreto experience the purifying and elevating power of thosesacred narratives ? And the more we kept in view, in suchmeditations, the spiritual aspect of the facts, not allowingit to be pushed aside b}^ wliat is on!}' external, the purer2'MTHE ED OF ALL SACRIFICES. 251would be the blessing that we derived from such a coutein-plation of the life of Christ. But the apostles, in their
letters to individual brethren as well as to Christian con-gregations, take this acquaintance with outward facts as athing for granted; while they seize every opportunity of directing the attention of Christians to the deep, mysterioussignificance of the death of Christ for our salvation, and toits connection with the great end and purpose of redemp-tion, wuth the whole of our hopes and our faith. And themore suitable such meditations on the historical facts arefor the days preceding this great day, during which nodoubt all the pious members of our congregations have beenconstantly so engaged, not only during our meetings, but inthe quiet of private devotion ; the more natural it seemsto me to turn in this sacred hour to one of those apostolicutterances, and to devote our attention to the deep signifi-cance of Christ's death for the salvation of men.It is very clear, from the whole context of these words,that the sacred writer regards the Saviour's death as thereal transition point at which the old covenant terminatedand the new covenant of God with man began. While herepresents the death of the Saviour as an offering for sin,he at the same time sets it forth, in the words, " throughone offering are perfected," as the end of all offerings andall sacrificial services, which, in the times before Christ,formed the essential element both in the worship of theJewish people, and in the sacred rites, mixed with muchdelusion and error, of other nations. And we have hereset in the sharpest contrast the inadequacy of all formerofferings, and that eternal, divine power through whichthe offering of the Saviour transcends them all, and inso doing has made an end of all offerings. Let us tlieiiconsider the death of the Saviour in contrast with all otherofferings, and as the end of them.In the earlier part of this chapter the writer had said252 THE DEATH OF THE SAVIOUR 
that the offerings would have ceased if those who offeredthem had had no more conscience of sin, but had beencleansed once for all ; but through the offerings there wasonly a remembrance made of sins year by year ; the sinsthemselves, he says in our text, can never, by the repetitionof the offerings, be taken away. We shall, therefore, notonly get hold of the real meaning of his discourse, butexhaust it as to its essential bearing, if we regard the deathof Christ as the termination of all offerings in these tworespects : first, because there is no longer need of any other]-emembrance of sin, to be renewed from day to day andfrom year to year ; secondly, because, sin being really takenaway, there is no longer need of any such insufficient offerings.I. Offerings, then, served at first as a remembrance of sin ; but now, since Christ became a sacrifice for sin, thereis no longer need for any other remembrance of it.How was it, then, that all the offerings under the oldcovenant were a remembrance of sin ? In this way — thatwhile the offering was supposed to make satisfaction forindividual acts that transgressed the law of the Highest,so that there was no longer cause to fear being reproachedor punished for them ; at the same time the presenting of the offering was a confession of the guilty act ; and by thispublic presentation each offerer made a remembrance of hissins, of everything in which he had come short of the law.We may only notice here, in passing, what an imperfectsj^stem this was. For what, after all, are the single out-ward acts, in which sin manifests itself, in comparisonwith sin itself? othing but occasional outbreakings of the inward corruption, dependent, in a thousand ways, onexternal circumstances. If we compare two persons, of whom, on the same day, one has a multitude of such outwardoffences to repent of and to expiate, while the other canboast of not having committed one, is the latter, on thataccount, better than the former ? By no means ! Only he

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